Newly appointed Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf was briefed by senior Police Scotland officers on how preparations for the visit of the US President Donald Trump later this week are being made.
Protests about the visit are expected to take place in various locations with many Facebook groups announcing their plans.
Mr Yousaf has urged those attending any protests this weekend, when President Trump visits Scotland, to do so both safely and peacefully.
The President visits Chequers and Windsor Castle to meet The Prime Minister and Her Majesty The Queen, although it does not seem that a return visit to Holyrood or to meet the First Minister is on his agenda.
Speaking after meeting with Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, Mr Yousaf said: “We understand that many people feel very strongly about President Trump and his administration’s policies, and will want to express that this weekend when he is in the country.
“That is why there are a number of organised protest locations across the country this weekend and I would urge people who want to exercise their right to demonstrate in those locations, to do so in a safe and peaceful manner.
“It is clear that President Trump’s visit will have significant operational implications for Police Scotland and planning has been taking place with partners for some time. I am confident that Police Scotland will provide a professional and effective policing response, keeping communities safe and facilitating peaceful protest.
“Further clarity around President Trump’s plans whilst visiting Scotland would greatly aid the planning that is being taken forward by our police and wider partners.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, Police Scotland, said: “The President’s visit to Scotland will require a significant policing operation, involving thousands of officers and specialist resources. As with the visit of any high profile head of state, detailed planning is already well underway.
“Whilst the exact details of his programme are still being finalised, our objectives will be to ensure the safety of the President and of those travelling with him and to maintain public safety. In addition, we will work closely with any groups to facilitate lawful protest.
“As with any visit of this nature we do not disclose the specific details of the operational deployment.”
The cost of the visit to Police Scotland is likely to be in the region of £5million, and one of the first things that Mr Yousaf did as Justice Secretary was to write to the UK Government asking that they pay. It was not entirely clear at that point that the President would visit Scotland where he owns two golf courses, but it now appears to be in his plans. The UK Government advised the Scottish Government that they will provide ring-fenced funding of up to £5 million to cover Police Scotland’s costs.