AP: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fears the Americans will torpedo his government if parliament does not pass a law to fairly divvy up the country's oil wealth among Iraqis by the end of June, close associates of the leader told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The legislature has not even taken up the draft measure, which is only one of several U.S. benchmarks that are seen by al-Maliki as key to continued American support, a crucial need for the survival of his troubled administration. Aside from the oil law, the associates said, American officials have told the hardline Shiite Muslim prime minister that they want an Iraqi government in place by year's end acceptable to the country's Sunni Arab neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. "They have said it must be secular and inclusive," one al-Maliki associate said. [...]
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
AP: Iraq's Shiite prime minister on Tuesday made a groundbreaking and unannounced visit to Ramadi, the Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, a senior staff member told The Associated Press. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had flown to the insurgent bastion Tuesday morning. [...]
Sunday, March 04, 2007
AP: Iraq's prime minister said Saturday he will reshuffle his Cabinet within two weeks and pursue criminal charges against political figures linked to extremists as a sign of his government's resolve to restore stability during the U.S.-led security crackdown in Baghdad. [...] Al-Maliki has been under pressure from the U.S. to bring order into his factious government of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds since it took office last May. Rumors of Cabinet changes have surfaced before, only to disappear because of pressure from coalition members seeking to keep power. Nevertheless, al-Maliki said there would be a Cabinet reshuffle "either this week or next." After the changes are announced, al-Maliki said he would undertake a "change in the ministerial structure," presumably consolidating and streamlining the 39-member Cabinet. The prime minister did not say how many Cabinet members would be replaced. But some officials said about nine would lose their jobs, including all six Cabinet members loyal to radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an al-Maliki ally.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
BBC NEWS: Breakthrough in Iraq oil standoff. Iraq's cabinet has approved a draft oil law which aims to equitably share revenues from its oil revenues among the country's ethnic groups. The bill - allocating oil revenues between Iraq's 18 provinces based on their population levels - must now be submitted to parliament for a vote.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
From the wonderful new Iraq news site IraqSlogger:
(article link) Az-Zaman headlined in its international edition: “the American forces abort an Iranian coup in Iraq”. Az-Zaman claimed that an Iranian intelligence operation was underway to “form a pro-Iranian government in Iraq after removing al-Maliki’s government”. The paper added that the ‘coup’ was to be carried out in conjunction with Iraqi ‘heads of militias and pro-Iranian officials’. The paper quoted a ‘British source’ who said that the ‘plan’ was aborted when the American forces arrested five Iranian intelligence operatives during a ‘high-level meeting’ with Shi`a politicians. The aim of the meeting, according to the British source, was to negotiate a post-Maliki political arrangement and determine the viability of the government and the Shi`a coalition after the Da`wa party –one of the constituents of the Shi`a bloc- was tarnished by the process of Saddam’s execution. [...]
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Preparations are under way to hang two of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants on Thursday but the details still have to be worked out with the American military, an Iraqi government official said Wednesday. Saddam's half brother Barzan Ibrahim, a former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were originally scheduled to hang with Saddam, who was put to death on Saturday. But their execution was delayed until after Islam's Eid al-Adha holiday, which ends Wednesday for Iraq's majority Shiites. Al-Arabiya satellite television and Al-Furat TV, run by Iraq's major Shiite Muslim political organization, both reported Wednesday that Ibrahim and al-Bandar would go to the gallows on Thursday.[...]
Monday, January 01, 2007
AP: Hundreds of Iraqis flocked to the village where Saddam Hussein was born on Sunday to see the deposed leader buried in a religious compound 24 hours after his execution. Saddam's body was transferred by American helicopter to the U.S. military base at Tikrit, 80 miles north of the capital, officials in Tikrit said. [...]