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Iraq cabinet approves draft oil law

[JURIST] Iraq's cabinet approved a draft oil law [JURIST report] Monday outlining the development and distribution of Iraqi oil and giving the national government control over oil revenues, according to a senior Iraqi oil official. The proposed law now moves to the Iraqi National Assembly [official website, in English] for revisions and ratification. Iraqi legislators delivered the draft law [JURIST report] to Iraq's cabinet over the weekend of February 18. The cabinet's approval of the draft law comes just one day after the Iraqi Oil Ministry [official website] indicated its passage was in jeopardy [JURIST report] because the Kurdish administration in the north of the country [official website] had been withholding support for the measure. The Kurdistan Regional Government reportedly endorsed the draft law Monday after debating the wording of some of its terms, which have yet to be disclosed.

Negotiations concerning the proposed oil law have been a source of tension [JURIST report] for months in Iraq [JURIST news archive] as many Kurds and Shiites want to retain control of Iraq's oil resources [Global Policy backgrounder], while Sunni Arabs, who do not dominate the oil-rich regions of the country, have insisted on central oversight. Reuters has more.

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