A non-resident ambassador is an ambassador who is not physically stationed in the country to which they are accredited. Instead, they reside in another country, typically a neighboring country, and travel to the country to which they are accredited on an as-needed basis.
Non-resident ambassadors are typically appointed for a variety of reasons, including:
- To reduce costs: Embassies can be expensive to operate, so appointing a non-resident ambassador can save money.
- To maintain diplomatic relations with countries with which there are limited relations: For example, a country may appoint a non-resident ambassador to a country with which it does not have full diplomatic relations.
- To improve diplomatic relations with neighboring countries: A country may appoint a non-resident ambassador to a neighboring country to show its commitment to good relations.
In the case of the new Saudi ambassador to Palestine, Nayef al-Sudairi, he will be based in Amman, Jordan, but will travel to Palestine on a regular basis. His appointment is seen as a sign of Saudi Arabia’s support for the Palestinian cause, but it is also important to note that he is a non-resident ambassador. This suggests that Saudi Arabia is not yet ready to fully normalize relations with Israel, as normalizing relations would likely involve establishing a resident embassy in Tel Aviv.
The appointment of a non-resident ambassador to Palestine is a significant development, but it is important to understand what it means. Al-Sudairi will be able to represent Saudi Arabia in Palestine and promote Saudi interests, but he will not be able to provide the same level of support and representation as a resident ambassador.