Embassies and Consulates Around the World

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 the government the embassy represents. A consulate is a smaller version of an embassy; most large cities have a consulate, especially those in tourist areas. In nearly all cases, all embassies can be found in the country's capital.

However, there are some unusual cases:

Israel

In 1980, a law was passed in Israel proclaiming that the country's official capital is Jerusalem. However, the majority of the world's countries do not recognise this, maintaining that the capital is Tel Aviv, which was the capital when Israel first became a state in 1948. As a result of this, nearly all of Israel's embassies are in Tel Aviv.

Taiwan

Few countries have an official embassy in Taiwan. This is due to the influence of People's Republic of China, which has always insisted that Taiwan is part of its sovereign territory. As a result of this, the international community has not formally recognised Taiwan as a fully independent state.

Instead, countries have unofficial representative offices in Taipei, the capital. For example, the American Institute in Taiwan is a private organisation representing the United States and the British Trade and Cultural Office fulfils the same mission for the United Kingdom.

The Netherlands

Though Amsterdam is the national capital, the legislature and all the embassies are in The Hague.

South Africa

Similarly, though Pretoria (Tshwane) is the administrative capital, the legislature and all the embassies are in Cape Town.