CANBERRA, July 12 (Xinhua) - Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Monday said he will head to Indonesia later this week to discuss the government's plans for a regional approach to asylum seekers.
Smith will meet with Indonesian officials in Jakarta to discuss Labor's plans for a regional processing facility if it wins the coming federal election.
Smith said officials from both countries will deal with the issue initially and then he and the East Timorese minister will have a further conversation.
Smith said he spoke to his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on the day the asylum seekers' plan was announced and agreed to discuss it further during his visit, which had been scheduled "for some time".
"This is a matter we need to consider and discuss in detail and we will," Smith told Sky News on Monday.
Smith also defended his decision not to visit East Timor, where the facility may be built, ahead of Indonesia.
"We have an agreed process with East Timor," Smith said.
"That process, in terms of getting officials together, starts today in Dili."
Smith confirmed East Timor is the only country Australia's approached to host a regional processing center.
The Australian government announced last Tuesday new policy in asylum seekers issues, which included plans to set up a regional processing center for asylum seekers in East Timor.