( AFP ) - Washington will work with Australia's new leader on his plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq but will not follow his example and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the US ambassador said Thursday.
Prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd swept to power in weekend elections on pledges to pull out Australian troops and sign the climate change treaty, two moves his predecessor and close US ally John Howard had refused to make.
US Ambassador Robert McCallum told national radio that US President George W. Bush had invited Rudd to Washington as soon as both leaders could fit the visit into their schedules.
On the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Rudd "has said that he will be involved in consultations with us and we are very much looking forward to doing that," McCallum said.
Australia has some 1,500 troops involved in Iraqi operations, although most are outside the country and only the 500 combat troops deployed in the south of the war-torn nation are subject to Rudd's withdrawal plan.
"It's a situation where Australia is determining how it is going to reposition forces and how it is going to deploy its resources in a new and different way and we are looking forward to working with Mr Rudd in achieving that," McCallum said.
Asked whether Australia's combat troops were needed in Iraq, McCallum replied: "That's one thing we are going to be talking about with Mr Rudd".
He pointed out that some Australian troops were expected to remain deployed on Iraqi operations.
"There are going to be Australian troops left in Iraq as security forces that relate to the Australian embassy in Baghdad, there are naval forces and air forces that are offshore that relate to security issues."
On climate change, McCallum said the US had no plan to follow the new government.
"There is no chance that the United States is going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol," he said.
Apart from the US, Australia was the only other major country in the world to have refused to ratify the protocol, which aims to curb the emission of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.