June 7, 2023

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Mohammed bin Zayed in France .. What is a “state visit”?

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The Head of State, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may God protect him, today, Monday, begins a “state visit” to France, considered the highest official visit.

The visit was announced on July 14, France’s national day.

And a “state visit” can only take place at the official invitation of the head of the host country, in which he is personally his guest and resides in his official residence throughout the visit.

A “state visit” has a great political meaning and a great festive and dignified atmosphere prevails at the reception and farewell.

A “state visit” is usually the arrangement of a lunch or dinner at which the visiting president is the “guest of honor”, a program of discussions and various visits to certain places and landmarks.

This includes firing 21 gunshots to welcome him if he is the President and 19 shots into the sky if he is the Prime Minister.

The guest may be invited to visit the Legislature (Parliament) and be allowed to address it.

Usually, the length of the “red carpet” on which the visiting head of state descends is 50 meters.

Types of Official Visits

Apart from the state visit, there are other types of visits between heads of state and senior officials – according to media reports – including working trips or “official visits”. The “state visit”, like that, takes on political significance. .

A “working visit” is designed for a specific purpose and a formal, practical program that includes discussions, working meetings and the signing of bilateral agreements.

A “state visit” usually involves arranging a lunch or dinner, which may be avoided during a “business visit”.

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On a working visit, there are no cannon rounds, and the presidential guest may be received at the airport at a lower level than the host nation’s head of state, as well as on farewell. The length of the “red carpet” on which the visiting head of state descends is 25 meters.

There is also a personal visit, which is for the personal purpose of a head of state, head of government or a minister, be it for personal work, treatment or tourism or any other purpose of visiting the embassy of his country.

This type of visit lacks formal ceremonies or significant ceremonies in most of its aspects, for example, the “red carpet” on which the visiting head of state descends is only ten meters long.