Arrival and departure of the head of mission

Created: 2014.02.26 / Updated: 2014.02.27 15:04

Agrément

In accordance with Article 4 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), an Agrément shall be sought for the person proposed to be accredited as the Head of Mission to the Republic Lithuania.

The Agrément shall be received before the person concerned officially arrives in Lithuania or his/her identity is made public.

A request for the Agrément is usually handed over to the Director of the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Director of the Protocol Department) by the outgoing Ambassador or Charge d’Affaires a.i. or otherwise submitted to the Protocol Department.

The request for the Agrément shall enclose a detailed curriculum vitae of the person proposed to be accredited as the Head of Mission.

The Protocol Department will notify the sending State about Agrément as soon as such decision is made.

Arrival of Ambassador-Designate

The Ambassador-Designate who will reside in Lithuania is free to arrive in the country at any time following the notification of the Agrément.

The Ambassador-Designate will be greeted on arrival at the Vilnius International Airport by a protocol officer between 8.00 hrs. and 17.00 hrs., Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

As soon as the Protocol Department is provided with request of the Ambassador-Designate’s for a date of presentation of the Letters of Credence, the Protocol Department will arrange the date of presentation with the Presidential Palace.

For the Ambassador-Designate, who will not reside in Lithuania, it is recommended to arrive one day before the ceremony of presentation of the Letters of Credence. The hotel shall be booked by the Embassy concerned. The non-resident Ambassador will be met and seen off at the Vilnius International Airport by a protocol officer between 8.00 hrs. and 17.00 hrs., Monday to Friday, public holidays excepted.

However, VIP facilities are available for the Ambassador at any time on his/her arrival and departure. In the event of arrival or departure by car, ambassadors are provided courtesy clearance at a border crossing point.

An Ambassador does not take up his/her functions and/or any public duties in Lithuania, until he/ she have presented the Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of Lithuania. However, once the Director of the Protocol Department has received the working copy of the Credentials, the Ambassador-Designate may contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – Ministry) on a working basis. In accordance with Article 13 of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), precedence among Ambassadors depends on the date of presentation of Credentials to the President.

Presentation of the Letters of Credence

Preparation of the ceremony of presentation of the Letters of Credence

The Protocol Department organizes the ceremony of presentation of the Letters of Credence. All practical aspects are arranged in close collaboration with the Embassy of a relevant country. The respective Embassy will be supplied with information, setting out in detail the ceremonial aspects of the presentation of the Letters of Credence together with a programme specifying the exact timing of the ceremony and listing the participants.

When the date of the ceremony is set up, the following information shall be provided to the Protocol Department:

  • Time of arrival and departure of the Ambassador (if not resident), including flight number;
  • Names of accompanying persons;
  • Working language to be used at the audiences.

Non-resident Ambassadors are kindly requested to bring two large national flags and a small one for a limousine and hand them over to the Protocol Department at least one day prior to the ceremony.

Courtesy calls preceding the ceremony of presentation of the Letters of Credence

On the predetermined date (usually on the day of presentation of the Letters of Credence) the Ambassador- Designate pays courtesy calls to the high officials at the Ministry. These usually include the Vice-Minister or Chancellor, Director and Head of Division of a relevant Political Department of the Ministry and, if agreed, other officials. On a day of the Ambassador-Designate’s official visits to the Ministry, a protocol officer will accompany the Ambassador from the Hotel/ Residence to the Ministry and to the meetings.

One Embassy official may accompany the Ambassador to the meetings at the Ministry which take place before the official ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

Ceremony of the Presentation of the Letters of Credence

Dress Code:

  • Gentlemen: Dark Suit, Uniform, National Dress
  • Ladies: Day Dress, Suit, National Dress

On a predetermined time after the courtesy calls at the Ministry, the Ambassador leaves for the Presidential Palace to the Ceremony of presentation of the Letters of Credence. The Director of the Protocol Department escorts the Ambassador into the car and the motorcade proceeds to the Presidential Palace.

Please note. The Ambassador’s spouse and up to three Embassy’s officials may also attend the ceremony. The car for the Ambassador’s spouse and other accompanying officials of the Embassy shall be provided by the Embassies. Resident Embassies use their official car, non-resident Embassies – a rented car. The Protocol Department can assist with renting a motor vehicle. The Embassy’s officials who do not accompany the Ambassador during his/her courtesy calls at the Ministry shall arrive to the Presidential Palace not later than 10 minutes before the Ambassador’s arrival. They are greeted by a President’s protocol officer and escorted to the Ambassador’s Room.

Upon arrival of the Ambassador-Designate, the Guard of Honor is lined up in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace. The Ambassador escorted by the Director of the Protocol Department proceeds along the Guard of Honor to the Presidential Palace (Annex 1).

The President’s protocol officer greets the Ambassador at the entrance of the Presidential Palace and escorts them to the Ambassador’s Room. From there the delegation accompanied by the Director of the Protocol Department proceeds to the White Hall.

The Ambassador takes his position at the designated area (Annex 2). The spouse of the Ambassador and the accompanying delegation stand at a short distance behind him/her. Shortly the President escorted by the President’s protocol officer enters the White Hall. The President stops in front of the Ambassador at the designated area. The Adviser of the President stands behind the President in a short distance. The journalists take their places on the left side of the Ambassador.

The Director of the Protocol Department introduces the Ambassador. The Ambassador approaches the President and presents his/her Letters of Credence alongside with the Letters of Recall of his/her predecessor. The President accepts the Credentials and exchanges handshakes with the Ambassador. The official photo of the President and the Ambassador is made with national flags of the Ambassador’s country and that of Lithuania in the background. Shortly, the Ambassador introduces to the President his/ her accompanying party. The official photo is made once again.

After this ceremony, the President and the Ambassador accompanied by the Adviser to the President proceed for a tête-à-tête meeting which takes place in the Blue Hall. Accompanying party returns to the Ambassador’s Room.

The ceremony is over after a short tête-à-tête conversation and the Ambassador together with the accompanying delegation is escorted by the Director of the Protocol Department to the courtyard of the Presidential Palace, where the motorcade is lined up. The Ambassador is escorted into the car and a protocol officer accompanies him/her to his/her Residence/Hotel or to another meeting place. After the ceremony, the national flag is placed on the limousine assigned to the Ambassador.

Other Engagements

After the presentation of the Credentials, the Ambassador may call on the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and other officials (ministers, etc.). The Embassy shall request the Protocol Department to make the appointments for the Ambassador in advance.

The Protocol Department provides a car for the official ceremony only. If the Ambassador needs a car for supplementary arrangements, the Protocol Department can assist the Embassy with renting a car.

The protocol officer does not accompany the Ambassador to the meetings after the official ceremony.

Departure of the Head of Mission

As soon as the date of departure of an Ambassador who has accomplished his/her duties has been fixed, the Embassy informs the Protocol Department, which in its turn arranges farewell calls on the President and, if agreed, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the VIP facilities for the Ambassador’s departure. The Embassy makes arrangements for other farewell calls the Ambassador may wish to make.

The protocol officer does not attend the Ambassador’s departure.