Iraqi minister steps down after row with PM

BAGHDAD - Iraq's communications minister resigned on Monday, blaming meddling by the Shi'ite prime minister, whose spokesman said he was the first minister to quit since the government was formed in December 2010.
Mohammed Allawi, a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc in a fragile, fractious, power-sharing government, said he stepped down because of repeated clashes with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office over what he called interference.
"I present my resignation because I have become incapable of working in such an infested environment," he said in his resignation letter, which Maliki accepted.
Infighting among Iraq's Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs deepened after US troops left the country in December, and the Shi'ite-led government sought the arrest of vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi, an Iraqiya member.
The delicate cross-sectarian agreement has been crippled by crisis since it was constituted after inconclusive elections.