Following the establishment of permanent missions and embassies all over the Arab and Ottoman world, European powers used high-profile diplomatic visits to demonstrate their political interest in the region, consolidate their influence, or indeed stamp their authority.
With the establishment of permanent missions and embassies all over the Arab and Ottoman world in the 19th century, the political relationships between European and regional powers intensified in unprecedented ways. A key factor in this development was the “Eastern Question”, referring to the political instabilities and opportunities created around the Mediterranean, in particular by the steady weakening of the once mighty Ottoman Empire. Britain, France, Germany and other European countries now employed a wide range of diplomatic tools to jockey for position or, indeed, to work towards grabbing a permanent hold on strategically important and resource-rich regions across the Middle East and North Africa. Diplomatic visits from political or military delegations and heads of state played a vital part in furthering a power’s regional objectives.