Speaking publicly in Metinaro on Thursday, Lere Anan Timur expressed caution against the politicisation of state visits, where the head of state customarily represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state.
“We isolate ourselves by boycotting our President abroad,” Lere said.
“The President of the Republic goes abroad not for personal use but for the sake of the nation and state,” he said.
The Alliance for Change and Progress (AMP) government also voted to block a planned trip by President Francisco Guterres to the Vatican, Indonesia and Portugal in 2018.
The AMP coalition includes the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party of independence hero Xanana Gusmao. Guterres is from the opposition Fretilin party.
Lere said that parliament’s vote was influenced by personal political agendas that was “devastating” Timor-Leste’s long-fought independence.
“We earned our independence with blood flowing everywhere, therefore this personal revenge must stop,” Lere said.
He said Asia’s youngest democracy, which became independent from Indonesia in 2002, has worked hard to push reconciliation and peace with other countries, warning political uncertainty threatened progress.