The European Union Advisory Mission in Iraq (EUAM Iraq) is in the process of opening a regional presence in Erbil, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, in addition to its headquarters in Baghdad. Mr. Christoph Buik, Head of Mission of EUAM Iraq, recently visited Erbil to meet regional authorities and strengthen cooperation in the field of security sector reform. The visit took place from 30 June to 4 July 2021.
On the first day (30 June) of his visit to Erbil, Head of Mission Christoph Buik was warmly welcomed by H.E. Mr. Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-Iraq and Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council.
Mr. Buik briefed the Prime Minister on the Mission’s mandate and discussed current security threats to the Region and Iraq. Mr. Buik highlighted the role of EUAM Iraq to further civilian security sector reform in the Kurdistan Region through its newly established Erbil presence. In alignment with the EU Integrated Approach, the visit was accompanied by Mr. Vincent-Guillaume Poupeau, Head of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil. The visit is considered a step towards enhancing opportunities for cooperation and coordination between EUAM Iraq and KRG.
On 1 July 2021, Mr Buik also met representatives of the consulates of France, Germany, Czech Republic and Bulgaria introducing them to the Erbil Presence as well as the mission mandate in general.
The week of visits continued with a fruitful discussion between Head of Mission Christoph Buik and Dr. Khanzad Ahmad, Secretary General of the KRG High Council of Women’s Affairs (HCOWA) in Erbil, on 3 July 2021. They exchanged views and discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of women, peace and security. Mr. Buik highlighted the role of women in policing and commended the need for civilian security reform in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
On the last day of his visit to Erbil, Mr. Buik was warmly received by H.E. Mr. Shoresh Ismail Abdulla, KRG Minister of Peshmerga Affairs. His Excellency, the Minister, was accompanied by Deputy Minister Mr. Sarbast Lazgeen. The discussion centered around the security situation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the issue of maintaining the security and stability. Mr. Buik commended the current efforts of the Peshmerga reform and stressed the importance of direct coordination between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga forces to establish Joint Coordination Centers.
Mr. Buik was also warmly welcomed by H.E. Rebar Ahmed Khalid, KRG Minister of Interior, at the KRG Ministry of Interior in Erbil. He briefed him about the Mission's mandate and activities, and they discussed areas of possible engagements as well as the ongoing efforts of the traffic police reform.
The series of visits was concluded with a meeting between Head of Mission Mr. Buik and Dr. Hemin Hawrami, Deputy Speaker of the KRG Parliament, centering on the reform process in the security sector in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as well as on bilateral cooperation.
In all the meetings, the Erbil Presence mission members including the Analysis Officer, and the Senior Strategic Advisor on Security Sector Reform Coordination, were introduced to the interlocutors.
Read more about the visit in the local media:
Kurdistan 24 news