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.