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Embassies represent their country abroad and handle diplomatic issues, including enforcing the rights of its citizens abroad. The ambassador is the highest official in the embassy and acts as the chief diplomat and spokesperson for their government.
A consulate is a smaller version of an embassy and is generally located in the larger tourist cities, but not the capital.
There are some unusual cases:
No country has an embassy in Jerusalem, even though it is the capital and largest city in Israel. Most embassies are located in Tel Aviv due to the majority of the international community not recognising Jerusalem as the official capital. Tel Aviv is identified as the capital for embassies because it was the temporary capital of Israel during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem in 1948. However, Jerusalem is home to many consulates.
Few countries have an official embassy in Taiwan. This is due to the uncertainty of Taiwan's political status with regard to mainland China. As a consequence, many countries do not recognise Taiwan as independent country.
Instead, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have unofficial representative offices in Taipei. The American Institute in Taiwan is a private organisation representing the United States and the British Trade and Cultural Office fulfills the same mission for the United Kingdom.
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