German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has confirmed that he will not be part of the country's next government to be headed by Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel.
Mr. Schroeder made the comment Wednesday in a speech to trade union members in his hometown of Hanover.
Ms. Merkel's conservative party narrowly beat Mr. Schroeder's Social Democrats in the September 18 parliamentary elections.
The two parties agreed to a coalition deal Monday under which Ms. Merkel will become the new chancellor while the Social Democrats control a majority of cabinet posts.
In Washington, a White House spokesman says President Bush telephoned Ms. Merkel to congratulate her on her selection as chancellor. Mr. Bush said he looks forward to working with her to build a strong foundation of U.S.-German relations.