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I am now an exchange student in Chile. I was reading this list about visa requirements to get into Chile and something made me quite amused: Out of the countries that are listed, more than 10 of them don't have any diplomatic relation with Chile, including:

  • Cape Verde

  • Chad

  • Eritrea

  • Gambia

  • Niger

  • San Marino

  • Togo

  • Tajikstan

What is the reason for a lack of diplomatic relations with these countries?

As long as both countries do not have some interest conflict, is it only helpful to establish a normal diplomatic relationship? (For example Bolivia has long been having conflict with Chile so it's understandable they don't have diplomatic relation)

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    It's probably because those countries just don't interact with chile that much – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '13 at 17:57
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    It's a curious pattern that many on the list are Muslim countries. No idea if there's any causation there. – user4012 Nov 30 '13 at 18:20
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    Also, some of them may simply be so small or too recent or too troubled as to not have diplomatic relations with MANY other countries (Tajikistan was only recently created out of a small portion of ashes of fUSSR, San Marino is a microstate, Eritrea only recently emerged from major troubles). A good answer would look at this angle – user4012 Nov 30 '13 at 18:22
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    @DVK I swear I hadn't read your comment before I did my answer. I had to verify that Cape Verde wasn't a Portugese protectorate... – Affable Geek Nov 30 '13 at 20:35
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Of your countries:

  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Eritrea
  • Niger
  • Togo
  • Gambia

These are all very poor African countries. Establishing an embassy is expensive, and frankly Chilean commerce isn't so large a portion of the economy that it makes sense to do so. Now, say, China - yeah - they are investing heavily in these countries, and you want to promote trade, defense, and relations. But Chile? Not to be mean, but it's not really worth the effort. Besides - the African Union can negotiate with Chile when needed.

Gambia, for example, outsources most of its diplomatic relations to Senegal - the country that completely surrounds it. Gambia is a stretch of river smaller than Connecticut. It doesn't have the resources to maintain its own embassies.

Eriteria, as a new country (formed in 1994), is more concerned with establishing the relationships that keep it independent of Ethiopia. Chile kind of doesn't have a dog in this fight.

Niger is regularly one of the poorest countries in the world.

Of the non-African countries:

  • Tajikstan Has basically been at war for the last 10 years and is slowly rebuilding. See above.

  • San Marino Is an Italian protectorate. It's a small enclave the size of a single city, within Italy. It sells stamps, not diplomatic relationships.


The point of all of this is simple - diplomatic relations cost money and talent. They exist to promote peace and trade - but at a cost. For a country like the United States which has the resources, it is worthwhile (Fun fact: The United States has more people in its official military bands than in its foreign service source) but in smaller countries, you have to choose. San Marino has a population of 31,000. If they sent an ambassador to each of the approximately 200 countries around the world, that's more than 1/2 of a percent of the population. (By contrast, 1.3% of the population works for Walmart!)

tl;dr> Countries pick and choose relations based on the cost and the need.

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