Australia is considering sending more military trainers to Afghanistan as part of U.S.-led efforts to bolster coalition troops in the troubled country, the foreign minister said Tuesday.

Stephen Smith said the question of adding to Australia''s 1,100-strong troop deployment in Afghanistan would be discussed at annual talks between the foreign and defense ministers from Australia and the United States on Thursday in Washington.

While details have not been announced, Australia is widely expected to agree to send more troops after a formal request is made from Washington.

Smith signaled Tuesday that planning was already under way for a new deployment.

"In some respects ... we''ve moved beyond the issue of a formal invitation," Smith told Sky News television. "We will expect that in the near future. It''s now a matter for us to carefully work through what we regard as being in Australia''s national interest."

Smith said the country was "looking not just to the possibility of a military contribution or a further security contribution for election purposes, but also the capacity building and training."

An unsourced report this week in the respected newspaper The Australian said Canberra was planning to order some 250 additional noncombat troops to Afghanistan to train domestic security forces.

Smith said no decision had yet been made, and the topic would be discussed when he and Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.