Cyprus condemns US congressman’s visit north

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The Foreign Ministry has condemned the visit of American congressman Pete Sessions to the Turkish-occupied north as illegal.

Nicosia said it was a deliberate choice by the Texas congressman, disregarding United Nations Security Council resolutions and “obviously serving other purposes”.

The ministry said the visit is “condemned for what it is: a violation of international law and deviation from the official position of the United States.”

“Clearly, the aforementioned illegal visit is a conscious decision by the congressman himself, which challenges the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and obviously serves other purposes, such as attempting to create impressions.

“Unlike others, in the case of Mr Sessions, prevention was not possible precisely due to his historical relations with Turkey.”

The government “is in direct and close communication with the United States on this matter, guided by their long-standing cooperation, based on the official position of the US authorities on the Cyprus issue, which remains unchanged and in line with international law”.

Sessions is thought to be the first American politician to land at Ercan (Tymbou) airport and meet senior Turkish Cypriot officials.

Earlier this week, he flew to the north following an official trip to Turkey and met Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

An invitation from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce initiated the visit.

The last round of UN-backed Cyprus talks ended inconclusively in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.