Australian Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said Friday that the country's combat troops would be pulled out of Iraq by mid-2008.
The combat force in Iraq would come home "by around about the middle of next year," Rudd told Australia's Southern Cross Broadcasting radio.
Rudd said he would meet U.S. Ambassador Robert McCallum soon to set up discussions on precise timing.
"We've not begun our discussions with the United States on that," Rudd said.
"We'll have a meeting with the United States ambassador before too long to set up the appropriate processes for discussing that," he added.
Rudd, leader of the Australian Labor Party, swept to power at elections last Saturday. He and his ministry will be sworn in next Monday.
He had promised before last Saturday's federal election to withdraw Australian combat troops from Iraq if the Labor party won.
Australia, the strongest ally in the U.S.-led war on terror, has about 1,600 troops in the Middle East, including 550 combat forces in Iraq.
(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2007)