Foreign minister


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).[citation needed] 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'.

In the United States, the United States Secretary of State handles foreign policy and is the senior Cabinet officer. The name of the post comes from several domestic duties.

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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Country Name of office Chairman of the office
 Abkhazia Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
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 Angola Ministry of External Relations Minister of External Relations
 Argentina Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship
 Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Austria Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs Foreign Minister of Austria
 Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister of Bangladesh
 Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Belgium Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Benin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and African Integration Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, La Francophonie, and Beninese Abroad
 Brazil Ministry of External Relations Minister of External Relations
 Bulgaria Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Burma Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister of Foreign Affairs
 People's Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China
 Chile Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Colombia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration
 Cuba Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs (list)
 Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 European Union European External Action Service High Representative
 Fiji Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs (Fiji)
 Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 France Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
 Gabon Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs (Gabon)
 Georgia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Georgia) Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Germany Foreign Office Minister for Foreign Affairs
 East Germany Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic Foreign Minister of the German Democratic Republic
 Ghana Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Greece Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Haiti Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Hong Kong Commerce and Economic Development Bureau
Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
 Hungary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Iceland Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 India Ministry of External Affairs Minister of External Affairs
 Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
 Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Jordan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Liberia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Libya Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs (Libya)
 Lithuania Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Luxembourg Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Malta Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Mauritania Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mauritania) Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Mexico Secretariat of Foreign Affairs Secretary of Foreign Affairs
 Moldova Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration
 Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Namibia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs (Namibia)
 Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Niger Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Nigeria Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foregin Affairs
 Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan) Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan)
 Palestine Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
 Peru Ministry of Foreign Relations Minister of Foreign Relations
 Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary of Foreign Affairs
 Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Portugal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Romania Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 São Tomé and Príncipe Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Scotland Minister for Culture and External Affairs
 Senegal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Serbia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Seychelles Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ministry for Foreign Affairs
 Sierra Leone Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
 Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Slovakia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
 South Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
 South Ossetia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Soviet Union Ministry of External Relations (Soviet Union) Minister of External Relations
 Spain Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
 Sweden Ministry for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Federal Councillor of Foreign Affairs
 Syria Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Tonga Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
 United States Department of State Secretary of State
 Uruguay Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Vatican City Secretariat of State Secretary for Relations with States
 Venezuela Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs
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 Yugoslavia Minister of Foreign Affairs (Yugoslavia)
 Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs

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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


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