- Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government (prime minister or president). It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in coalition governments. In some nations, such as India, the foreign minister is referred to as the Minister for External Affairs or, as in the case of Brazil and of the former Soviet Union, as the Minister of External Relations. In the United States the equivalent to the foreign ministry is called the Department of State, and the equivalent position is known as the Secretary of State.
A foreign minister's powers can vary from government to government. In a classic parliamentary system, a foreign minister can potentially exert significant influence in forming foreign policy but when the government is dominated by a strong prime minister the foreign minister may be limited to playing a more marginal or subsidiary role in determining policy. Similarly, the political powers invested in the foreign minister are often more limited in presidential governments with a strong executive. Since the end of World War II, it has been common for both the foreign minister and defense minister to be part of an inner cabinet (commonly known as a national security council) in order to coordinate defence and diplomatic policy. Although the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw many heads of government assume the foreign ministry, this practice has since become uncommon in most developed nations.
Along with their political roles, foreign ministers are also traditionally responsible for many diplomatic duties, such as hosting foreign world leaders and going on state visits to other countries. The foreign minister is generally the most well-traveled member of any cabinet.
In the United Kingdom, the minister responsible for foreign policy as well as the British overseas territories) is the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary). Before 1968, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs only handled relations with foreign (non-Commonwealth) countries, while relations with Commonwealth countries and colonies were handled by the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs. For the same reason, in Commonwealth countries other than the United Kingdom, the ministers responsible for handling relations with both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries were formerly usually designated ministers for 'External Affairs'.
Although it is very rare for there to be any sub-national foreign minister post, although sometimes there is a minor external relations position, it can exist supranationally. The European Union has dealt with external relations in certain areas since its inception (see EU Trade Commissioner) and has a High Representative as its chief diplomat. However her duties are primarily to implement EU foreign policy, rather than formulate it.
Other common titles may include minister of foreign relations. In many Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, the foreign minister is colloquially called canciller (chancellor) (in Brazil, a Portuguese-speaking country, is chanceler).
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- Foreign Ministries: Adaptation to a Changing World A collection of papers and presentations from a conference which address the issues of performance management and accountability assessment in foreign ministries, diplomacy of small states, foreign services conduct of economic, cultural and public diplomacy.
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Common types of government ministers
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Look at other dictionaries:
foreign minister — n. a member of a governmental cabinet in charge of foreign affairs for the country … English World dictionary
foreign minister — foreign ministry. (in countries other than the U.S.) a cabinet minister who conducts and supervises foreign and diplomatic relations with other states. Also called, esp. Brit., foreign secretary. Cf. secretary of state (def. 1). [1700 10] * * * … Universalium
foreign minister — noun a government minister for foreign relations • Syn: ↑secretary of state • Hypernyms: ↑minister, ↑government minister … Useful english dictionary
foreign minister — noun The cabinet official in charge of relationships with foreign nations. Secretary of State. Syn: minister for foreign affairs … Wiktionary
foreign minister — for′eign min′ister n. gov (in countries other than the U.S.) a cabinet minister who conducts and supervises foreign and diplomatic relations with other states Also called, esp. brit.,foreign secretary • Etymology: 1700–10 for′eign min′istry, n … From formal English to slang
foreign minister — noun Date: 1678 a governmental minister for foreign affairs … New Collegiate Dictionary
Foreign Minister — member of a governmental cabinet in charge of foreign affairs for his country … English contemporary dictionary
foreign minister — In the diplomatic use of the term, any minister who comes as the representative of another jurisdiction or government. Cherokee Nation v Georgia, (US) 5 Pet I, 56, 8 L Ed 25, 45. See diplomatic officers … Ballentine's law dictionary
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China — Flag of the PRC … Wikipedia
Foreign Minister of Pakistan — The Foreign Minister of Pakistan heads the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The current Foreign Minister is Shah Mehmood Qureshi who took over on 31 March, 2008.The following is the list of all the previous foreign ministers of Pakistan to date.List… … Wikipedia