Friday, November 30, 2007

Rudd to withdraw troops from Iraq

Al Jazeera

Howard was Bush's last major partner in the "coalition of the willing" in the US-led war in Iraq Australia's prime minister-elect has said that his country's 550 combat troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by the middle of next year.

"The combat force in Iraq, we would have home by around about the middle of next year," Kevin Rudd told a Melbourne radio station on Friday.

"We've not begun our discussions with the United States on that. We'll have a meeting with the United States ambassador before too long to set up the appropriate processes for discussing that."

Rudd won Saturday's elections by a landslide, beating John Howard, the prime minister who staunchly supported the US-led war in Iraq.

Rudd had promised to withdraw the battle group from Iraq if elected but said he would leave behind some Australian soldiers, including those providing security at Australia's embassy in Baghdad.

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