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Georgia to Reduce Troops in Iraq by Next Year

Georgia's defense minister says his country will reduce its military presence in Iraq to 300 soldiers by next summer.

Davit Kezerashvili told reporters Friday the planned cut is part of a previous agreement with the United States.

Kezerashvili says no reduction is expected before mid-2008.

Georgia currently has 2,000 soldiers in Iraq.

The number was increased from 850 in July after Georgia's parliament approved a proposal by President Mikhail Saakashvili.

The Georgian president and the ruling party have been working to build closer ties with the United States and other western nations in a bid to gain NATO membership.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.