KEY EXCERPTS:OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources
Al-Maliki tells aides U.S. benchmark deadline is June 30 or his ouster possible
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
The Associated Press Tuesday, March 13, 2007
BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fears the Americans will withdraw support for his government — effectively ousting him — if parliament does not pass a draft oil law by the end of June, close associates of the Iraqi leader told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The legislature has not even taken up the draft measure for a fair distribution of the nation's oil wealth — only one of several U.S. benchmarks that are now seen by al-Maliki, a hardline Shiite, as key to continued American support for his troubled government.
The al-Maliki associates said U.S. officials, who they would not name, had told the prime minister that President Bush was committed to the current government but that continued White House support depended on positive action on all the benchmarks — especially the oil law and sectarian reconciliation — by the close of this parliamentary session on June 30.
"Al-Maliki is committed to meeting the deadline because he is convinced he would not survive in power without U.S. support," one of the associates said.FULL TEXT:
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