Google MapsSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Kosovo's Minister of Foreign Affairs has written to Tim Cook.
  • Meliza Haradinaj says Apple Maps should be changed to show the Republic of Kosovo as an independent nation.
  • Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by most countries as independent.

Meliza Haradinaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Kosovo, has written to Tim Cook requesting that Apple chances Apple Maps to reflect the country's international borders and its independence from Serbia.

In a letter on July 23, Haradinaj wrote to Cook saying:

The Apple Maps service does not show the Republic of Kosovo in its internationally recognized borders. Instead, the Republic of Kosovo is shown as part of Serbia. This is in direct contradiction of the political and legal realities. It is felt as a hurt by our citizens who suffered immense loss in our independence struggle. It is also perceived as an insult to our State.

In the letter, Haradinaj asks Apple to take into account several relevant facts, and to "represent the Republic of Kosovo correctly as a sovereign state." She cites Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008, and its subsequent recognition by two-thirds of the world's countries include the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, and Canada. She further notes Kosovo's membership of the IMF, World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as an International Court of Justice ruling declaring Kosovo's independence declaration did not violate international law. She also mentions other digital platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook which have all updated their platforms, and Kosovo's rapid digitization and high internet penetration, which is higher than other Western Balkan and Eastern European regions.

The issue echoes previous issues regarding Apple Maps and political disputes, notably, outcry over Apple's inclusion of Crimea and Sevastopol as Russian territories.