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Procedure for Presenting the Letters of Credence by the Head of Diplomatic Mission in Montenegro

Arrival of the Head of Diplomatic Mission in Montenegro

The Head of Diplomatic Mission or any legitimate representative of the sending state notifies the Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro of the date and time of the arrival of the Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate and of the means of transport by which he/she will arrive in Montenegro.

If there is a visa requirement between Montenegro and the sending state (also for holders of diplomatic passports), the Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate and persons accompanying him/her must, prior to their arrival acquire a Montenegrin visa.

Arrival by aircraft

If the Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate arrives in Montenegro by aircraft, the flight number and scheduled time of arrival at airport must be communicated in advance to the Diplomatic Protocol.

The newly appointed Head of Diplomatic Mission with the rank of ambassador, is awaited at the airport by the Chief or representative of Diplomatic Protocol if he/she arrives on a working day during working hours.

If the Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate arrives in Montenegro outside these hours or on a public holiday, a fast and unimpeded crossing of the state border is provided for him/her at the airport.

The Diplomatic Protocol provides and bears the cost of the VIP lounge at the airports in Podgorica and Tivat, during the arrival of the newly appointed head of the mission in Montenegro, as well as for their departure from duty. In other cases, the use of VIP lounges, diplomatic missions may directly agree directly with the airport services, at their own expense: https://montenegroairports.com/aerodrom-podgorica/putnici-i-posjetioci/vip-usluga/. 

Arrival by personal vehicle

If the Head of Mission-designate arrive in Montenegro by personal vehicle, the mark, type, color and licence plates of the vehicle and names of the driver and other persons accompanying him/her must be communicated in advance to the Diplomatic Protocol. The border crossing at which the Head of Mission-designate will enter in Montenegro and the scheduled date of the crossing must be communicated in order to enable a fast and unimpeded crossing of the state border.

Order of Precedence

In case there are several Heads of Diplomatic Missions-designate in Montenegro waiting to present their credentials, the order of the presentation of credentials is determined by the date of their request for the presentation of the credentials.

Presentation of copies of credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

On the date set for the presentation of copies of credentials, Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate, who may be accompanied by not more than three members of diplomatic staff of the Embassy, are transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an official vehicle. The Head of Diplomatic Mission-designate presents copies of the Letter of Credence and the Letter of Recall of his/her predecessor to the Chief of Diplomatic protocol or to the Director General. 

Presentation of credentials by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

At the agreed time, the representative of the State Protocol arrives at the residence or official premises of the diplomatic mission or a hotel. The Head of Diplomatic Mission and the representative of the State Protocol leave the residence, official premises of the diplomatic mission or a hotel for the Residence of the President of Montenegro in Cetinje in an official vehicle of the State Protocol, flying two flags of Montenegro along a pre-determined route and with police escort. The Head of Diplomatic Mission may be accompanied by not more than three members of his/her retinue, who are conveyed in a vehicle provided by the State Protocol. As a rule, the Head of Diplomatic Mission may be accompanied by members of the diplomatic staff of the Embassy or by close family members.

The Embassy must notify the Diplomatic Protocol in advance of the names and titles of persons accompanying the Head of Diplomatic Mission/members of the retinue.

The motorcade on the occasion of the presentation of credentials is as follows:

1. police car,
2. VIP car conveying the Head of Diplomatic Mission and the representative of Protocol,
3. additional car for Head's of Diplomatic Mission retinue.
Before the ceremony, the vehicle stops in front of the main entrance to the Residence of the President of Montenegro in Cetinje, where he meets the Chief of Diplomatic protocol or his/her deputy. The Montenegrin flag and the flag of the sending state are displayed above the main entrance. The Unit of Honor of Army of Montenegro shall be lined up along right side of the red carpet laid in front of the entrance to the Residence of the President of Montenegro. The Ambassador is greeted by the Chief of the Unit of Honor with an honorary salute. He/she  accompanied by Chief of protocol or deputy inspects the Unit of Honour, salutes the flag with a slight bow and proceeds on the carpet towards the entrance to the Residence of the President of Montenegro. Before the entrance to the Residence, the Head of Diplomatic Mission is welcomed and greeted by the Head of the State Protocol or his deputy. With the Head of the State Protocol of Montenegro or his deputy on his/her left and the Head of Diplomatic Protocol or his deputy on his/her right, the Head of Diplomatic Mission enters the Salon of the Residence. The members of the Head's of Diplomatic Mission retinue follow a few paces behind them.

The Head of Diplomatic Mission proceeds to the place of honor, to which he/she is conducted by the Head of the State Protocol of Montenegro (the Head of Diplomatic Protocol steps to the Head's of Diplomatic Mission right). Members of the Head's of Diplomatic Mission retinue stand behind him/her (see the sketch) according to the order of precedence from left to right (seen from the front). The President of Montenegro enters the Hall from the opposite side and proceeds to the designated place facing the Ambassador. 

The Head of the State Protocol of Montenegro introduces the Ambassador to the President of Montenegro by pronouncing his/her title, personal name, and full name of the sending state in a loud voice.

Immediately after the announcement by the Head of the State Protocol of Montenegro, the Head of Diplomatic Mission  addresses the President as follows:

"Your Excellency, (option: Mr President), please allow me to present to you the credentials of "full address and name of the head of the sending state".

Then he/she approaches the President of Montenegro and formally (with both hands) presents to him the Letter of Credence and the Letter of Recall of his/her predecessor. The President of Montenegro formally accepts the letters and shakes hands with the Head of Diplomatic Mission. On this occasion, a short photo session is envisaged. The Head of Diplomatic Mission introduces members of his/her retinue to the President of Montenegro. After the introductions have been made, the President of Montenegro invites the Ambassador and members of his/her retinue to a talk in the saloon. After the end of the talk, the Head of Diplomatic Mission and his/her retinue take leave of the President of Montenegro and proceed, accompanied by the Head of State Protocol and the Head of Diplomatic Protocol, to the main exit of the Residence of the President of Montenegro.
After leaving the Residence, the Head of Mission accompanied by Chief of Diplomatic Protocol inspects the Unit of Honor which is on his/her left side and salutes the flag by a slight bow. Immediately afterwards, he/she enters the official vehicle, which now flies the flag of the sending state on the right side and the flag of Montenegro on the left. Accompanied by the representative of the State Protocol, the Head of Diplomatic Mission is conveyed back to the residence, official premises of the diplomatic mission or a hotel along a predetermined route.

Presentation of the letter of introduction by a Charge d'Affaires en titre

A Charge d'Affaires en titre is accredited to the Minister of Foreign Affairs  of the receiving state (Article 14 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations). A Charge d' Affaires en titre presents the cabinet letter (letter of introduction) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro or to his/her deputy.

Courtesy calls by an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Prior to the presentation of credentials, the Head of Diplomatic Mission can meet the Chief of Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro of his/her deputy. Other introductory meetings take place after the presentation of credentials.

In the event that an ambassador presents only the copies of his/her credentials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  of Montenegro and has not yet presented his/her credentials to the President of Montenegro, it is preferred that he/she does not attend events at which the President of Montenegro is present, or that he/she consults the Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro prior to attending such an event.

Following the presentation of credentials by an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, diplomatic mission may request courtesy calls on high state officials of Montenegro. 

Sketch 1: The Grand Hall        

MVP