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An ambassador is the official representative of one state to another or to an international organization such as the United Nations. Representatives of the mission in cities other than the capital are called consuls. The host country typically allows the ambassador and any consuls control of specific territory called an embassy or consulate respectively. The territory, staff and even vehicles used by the mission are usually afforded diplomatic immunity to most laws of the host country.

Among members of the Commonwealth ambassadors are known as high commissioners and embassies are known as high commissions due to the fact that they do or did at one time share a common head of state.

Ambassadors to the United Kingdom are officially titled Ambassador to the Court of St. James.

In science fiction, ambassadors appear to play a very important role in the Star Trek's world United Federation of Planets and appear to have some legislative authority.