Embassies perform a crucial role in maintaining diplomatic ties with foreign governments, but their function is to maintain economic, political and cultural engagement with people living in distant lands. There have been a few experiments with virtual embassies -- the United States has one for Iran.

The Canadian foreign minister and the British foreign secretary recently announced that certain embassies of our two countries will in future share locations and facilities, though not diplomats or policies. That’s an obvious and sensible cost-cutting idea, despite the misgivings of the Canadian government’s critics.

On a day his government pressed the refresh button on the stalled foreign direct investment in retail and aviation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday asked the country's envoys to tell their hosts that 'India is a safe country to invest'.

Canada and the United Kingdom have agreed to work together on 10 areas when it comes to sharing diplomatic missions abroad, according to a copy of the controversial memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries and obtained by Postmedia News on Monday.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague is in Ottawa to announce an agreement between the two countries that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says will start with embassies in Haiti and Burma, and will allow civil servants to consider doing so in more countries as the need arises.

Rendezvous regular Mark McDonald asked for fresh U.S. embassy stories. Here is an old one from back when America waded into Vietnam, China was a forbidding foe, and Cold War rivals could have easily blown each other off the map.

The use of social media for the purpose of public diplomacy has increasingly drawn the attention of U.S. diplomacy professionals, observers and political analysts especially after the recent attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya that were triggered by outrage over an anti-Islamic video released on Sept. 11.

American embassies across the globe have taken to Twitter over the last year or two, an impressive soft power outreach to citizens of foreign countries, but the Cairo feed has stood out. Other feeds, even when they tweet frequently, tend to take the staid tone of official diplomacy, tweeting press releases, quotes from U.S. officials, and relevant headlines.