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Dua Lipa an honorary ambassador to Kosovo: What does that mean?

Republic of Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani announced the honor on Instagram, complete with photos

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Dua Lipa arrives at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Singer Dua Lipa arrives at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Jordan Strauss, Invision via Associated Press

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani has named Dua Lipa an honorary ambassador to the European nation.

The singer is the daughter of Kosovo Albanian parents. And during a ceremony last Friday, Osmani praised her humanitarian work there and elsewhere, calling her a “world-class and a once-in-a-generation musician,” as well as a “forthright and conscientious activist.”

The leader praised her for raising awareness of Kosovo around the world.

On Instagram, where Lipa has more than 85 million followers, Lipa posted that “it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to represent my country all over the world and to continue my work and efforts globally to see that we all leave our mark and make a difference.” She added that “the youth of Kosovo deserves the right to visa liberalization, freedom to travel and to dream big.”

“Among her first orders of business as honorary ambassador: Lobbying for visa liberalization for Kosovo’s citizens, a cause the singer advocated for throughout the Sunny Hill Festival that she and her father founded back in 2018,” Rolling Stone reported.

NPR reported that Lipa lived in Kosovo for several years when she was a teenager, before returning to the United Kingdom. Now 26, Lipa was born in London.

According to Vanity Fair, “Lipa is now part of a great legacy of musicians and diplomacy. In the 1950s, the United States declared a number of jazz musicians cultural ambassadors, and sent them around the globe on State Department-funded trips. They included Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman and Quincy Jones.”

Billboard reported on the honor bestowed by Osmani: “Today, I gave the title of Honorary Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to Dua Lipa, because she continues to honor our country in every step and every appearance,” the president wrote in Albanian alongside a photo gallery on her Instagram account. “I thanked her, on behalf of all the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, for everything she has done and is making our voice heard everywhere in the world.”

There’s a difference between being an ambassador and an honorary one, though the latter seems to lack an official definition or description. A head of state names an ambassador to represent that country’s interest elsewhere in an official capacity. An honorary ambassador is a title that may be bestowed without official capacity, often to someone from outside the country but with ties to it, as praise for representing that country well internationally or otherwise helping it in some way.

Lipa and her father, Dukagjin Lipa, together started the Sunny Hill Festival in Pristina, Kosovo. Her recent visit coincided with that festival.