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Iraq draft oil law going before parliament next week: minister

[JURIST] The Iraqi National Assembly [official website, in Arabic] will meet next week to consider a draft oil law [JURIST report] regulating the development and distribution of Iraqi oil and giving the national government control over oil revenues, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Wednesday. The Iraqi cabinet approved [JURIST report] the controversial law in February. Negotiations concerning the bill 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] for themselves, while Sunni Arabs, who do not dominate the oil-rich regions of the country, have insisted on central oversight. Al-Shahristani said that the different groups have assured him they will try to approve the law by the end of May.

Last month, associates of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] claimed approval of the draft law is critical to continued US support [JURIST report] of the current Iraqi government. Reuters has more.

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