The question is about how to use the English verb "receive" in formal business and diplomatic reporting. Hope it is clear.
I work in Kazakhstan and I need some help in editing a news. In my quick google search, I found that most of the Kazakh Press including almost all the CIS/former USSR countries are writing in the fashion that "President of Kazakhstan/Head of the State received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan....".
For example, "Kazakh President receives PM Massimov" as per http://inform.kz/en/kazakh-president-receives-pm-massimov_a2829894
My Understanding: Generally, the word/verb "receive" is used only when two dignitaries of equal level meet, or when the President meets a foreigner (not just an ordinary foreigner) or religious leader, or delegation commanding high respect. So, the verb "receive" is used when the President meets ambassadors, visiting PMs, and Presidents.
For example: The Pope Receives The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent...............
- The President Receives President Xi of the People’s Republic of China.... From WhiteHouse Website
Also, the verb "receive" is mostly used in passive form to show that "someone was received by some other person" or "will be received at some place on some date".
- Chinese President....before heading to Washington, D.C., where he will be received at the White House with a 21-gun salute and a state dinner. From NYT
- Chinese President was received by Bangladesh President.... From NZ Herald
While talking about the meeting of Akimat/City Mayor of Astana (or by our Prime Minister or by Foreign Minister or by anyone working locally in Kazakhstan) with the President, it is not right to say "President received them" as they (all of them) are junior in rank/hierarchy and the President does not receive them.
I am surprised because in English, different words are used for different meetings such as "received/received"-explained above, "granted an audience" - when meeting takes place with King/Queen, "paid a visit" - if someone comes to see/meet the president, "Called on/was called on" - when official meeting takes place etc. depending on the situation.
So, I think it is better to use the word "visit" or "meet" while talking about meetings with President. For example:
- Foreign Minister met the Head of the State to discuss about progress on Expo-2017 (and Not: Head of the State receives/received Foreign Minister.)
- Prime Minister visited the Head of the State/President and submitted the annual report (and Not Head of the State receives/received Prime Minister.)