UPDATED: 25. FEB 2015, AT 13:50

Kubiš appointed to head up UN Iraq mission

UN SECRETARY General Ban Ki-moon appointed former Slovak foreign affairs minister Ján Kubiš a new special envoy for Iraq and head of the UN assistance mission there on February 24.

(Source: SITA)

Kubiš, who previously served as a UN representative in Afghanistan, will replace Nikolay Mladenov, former head of Bulgaria’s diplomacy.

“Kubiš brings years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations both internationally and in his native Slovakia to his new post,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said, as quoted by the DPA newswire.

Jaroslav Naď of the Central European Policy Institute (CEPI) think tank considers the nomination “a success of Slovak diplomacy, but in particular the confirmation of Kubiš’s qualities, as reported by the Denník N daily.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was established in 2003, only a few months after the US invaded the country which led to the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The situation in the country is currently complicated as some of its parts are controlled by the militant Islamic State (IS) and it also faces a humanitarian crisis, Pravda wrote.

From his new position Kubiš may help the Iraqi government in uniting various quarrelling groups in the country. According to Naď, he has enough experiences to do so.

“He managed to make many steps in Afghanistan in extremely difficult conditions and hard times, like securing free elections and communicating with various parties which wanted to rule,” Naď told Denník N, adding that Kubiš’s task in Iraq will be similarly difficult.

Kubiš also served as UN envoy for Tajikistan in 1998-1999 and as secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for six years until 2005.

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