For months, Washington has pressed its ally al-Maliki to quickly pass the oil law and other pieces of legislation, considered vital to President Bush's attempts to end Iraq's turmoil - alongside a security crackdown by an increased U.S. military force.
But the law, which is to define the distribution of Iraq's oil wealth, has been tied up in bickering among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties in al-Maliki's deeply divided ruling coalition, frustrating U.S. officials as American support for the war wanes.
The prime minister announced Tuesday that his Cabinet had unanimously approved the oil draft and that the parliament would begin discussing it the following day. He called the bill "the most important law in Iraq."document.
Twenty-four of the Cabinet's 37 members were present for the vote; ministers from the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front and the Shiite Sadrist movement boycotted over separate political disputes with al-Maliki.
Still, despite the weakened coalition, the approval means parliament is likely to pass the measure. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Cabinet approval came after amendments
prompted by the Accordance Front. He did not give details on the changes or the bill's final version.
read in entirety at link/headline above
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Uh... remember the highly disputed "surge", troop funding battles and the "it ain't working" pols? Well, the purpose of tightening security was to lessen pressure on a Parliament who was probably wondering if they'd even be in existence after the anti-war crowd succeeded in abandoning them to radical elements.
And, of course, one of the big issues was how to distribute the wealth of Iraqi oil.
Seems like they're making some progress. Result of less sectarian violence and the Aussie's assurance they weren't going to leave Iraq in the lurch? And where's the press on Iraq progress? Busy with Scooter, of course....