CredentialsCredentials http://diplomacy.state.gov/wp-content/themes/corpus/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/11563dfe8f018ca189391bda80c0edf6?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The name for letters given to an ambassador by his/her chief of state, and addressed to the chief of state of the host country. They are delivered to the latter by the ambassador in a formal credentials ceremony, which generally takes place shortly after his/her arrival at a new post. Until this ceremony has taken place s/he is not formally recognized by the host country and cannot officially act as an ambassador. The letters are termed “letters of credence” because they request the receiving chief of state to give “full credence” to what the ambassador will say of behalf of his/her government.