Iraq: parliament passes 2012 budget

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Iraqis protest in front of a coffin representing the "law" as they demand the handover of Sunni Muslim Iraqi vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi after a judicial committee last year issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi based on anti-terror laws on Sunday in Baghdad. US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns held talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday at a time of a festering political standoff in Iraq, officials said.

Credit:

SABAH ARAR

Iraq's parliament has approved a $100 billion 2012 budget, AFP reported

The new finance plan, which passed late Thursday, was based on an average oil price of $85 per barrel, Reuters reported, and assumed the country will export some 2.6 million barrels of crude per day.

An unnamed Iraqi official told AFP that the parliamentary session on the budget lasted seven hours. Its passage had been delayed numerous times due to political problems between parliament's Shi'ite, Sunni, and Kurdish political factions, said Reuters

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Crude oil sales account for the majority of Iraq's income. The country produces some 2.9 million barrels per day, with exports averaging 2.1 million barrels per day 2011.