Sources: Maliki fears U.S. will torpedo government over oil money
BAGHDAD - 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.
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