East Timor's deputy prime minister says Australia should consider building its planned regional asylum-seeker processing centre on home soil.
Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres is the latest East Timorese official to express reservations about the Gillard government's plan for a processing centre in his country.
"Perhaps it would be better to do so in another place instead of Timor-Leste," Mr Guterres told Portuguese newsagency Lusa.
"Why not in Australia itself, which has an immense territory and available resources?"
Mr Guterres does not rule out his country hosting the centre and says the proposal will be discussed at a Bali Process meeting, expected in the coming months.
"We believe that at the next meeting at which regional countries will be present we can together discuss the best way to create a centre," he said.
"All issues should be discussed to find the best solution for a problem that has affected Australia for many years."
Julia Gillard announced the controversial plan for the asylum-seeker processing centre just weeks after winning the prime ministership.