Nuri al-Maliki is against any moves to
break up Iraq into separate entities [ EPA]
A non-binding resolution prepared by Joseph Biden, the US Democratic senator, has been approved in the US senate by a majority of 75 votes. 

The plan carries on its surface a political solution ensuring the withdrawal from Iraq without leaving any mess behind, although it is unclear whose interests are better served by the resolution.

The resolution calls for the division of Iraq into three entities on a sectarian basis: Sunnis, Shiite and Kurds.

The government will be federal, having its headquarters in Baghdad. It will control the border and manage the oil revenues.

The Kurds for one - who are already running a virtually independent state in three northern Iraqi provinces - applaud the move.

But many Sunnis and Shias, along with the Bush administration, oppose it and Iraq's prime minister Nuri al-Maliki says it would be a catastrophe. But if the Democrats come to power in next year's US elections, could that change?

Find out on Inside Story at 17:30 GMT.

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:

This episode of Inside Story aired on Sunday 30th September 2007.

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