Dua Lipa responds to controversy over ‘Greater Albania’ map tweet

Dua Lipa said she never intended to “incite any hate”, following criticism for tweeting an image often associated with supporters of Albanian nationalism.

The pop star, 24, shared a map appearing to show Albania, Kosovo and parts of neighbouring Balkan countries alongside a sentence suggesting Albanians are indigenous to the area.

The map has been used by nationalists aiming to create a Greater Albania by unifying the lands some Albanians consider to form their national homeland.

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A post shared by DUA LIPA (@dualipa) on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:18am PDT

Grammy-winner Lipa was born in London to Kosovo Albanian parents and spent some of her youth living in Kosovo.

Following a backlash, Lipa has now sought to clarify her comments and accused critics of purposely misinterpreting the post.

“My previous post was never meant to incite any hate,” she wrote on Instagram.

“It makes me sad and angry that my post has been wilfully misinterpreted by some groups and individuals who promote ethnic separatism, something I completely reject.”

Lipa said whenever she posts about Kosovo “my feed goes crazy”, regardless of the content. She wrote that she is met with “a fierce resistance to the idea of an authentic Kosovan culture”.

Lipa added: “We all deserve to be proud of our ethnicity and where we are from. I simply want my country to be represented on a map and to be able to speak with pride and joy about my Albanian roots and my mother country.

“I encourage everyone to embrace their heritage and to listen and learn from each other.”

She signed off the post: “Peace, love and respect to all.”

Her post came after Rita Ora, another British pop star with links to Kosovo, tweeted in support of the country appearing on Apple Maps.

She wrote: “Would love to see @Apple spreading awareness by putting Kosovo on the map! Albania and Kosovo are full of so much beautiful and great talent.”

A petition was recently launched calling for Apple Maps to show Kosovo as an independent nation and has garnered more than 131,000 signatures.

A message on the Change.org page says it is “very worrying that Kosovo is not shown on Apple Maps” and called for it to “change ASAP”.

The map in question sparked violence at a football match between Albania and Serbia in 2014 when a drone carrying the flag appeared above the stadium in Belgrade.

Albanian nationalists claim their people settled in the region long before the Serbs.

Many Serbs reject this. Central to the dispute is the status of Kosovo which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, less than a decade after Nato’s bombing campaign helped end the rule of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.