United States Congressman Pete Sessions has visited the north, becoming the first American politician to land at Ercan (Tymbou) airport and meeting with high-level Turkish Cypriot figures.

Sessions, a Republican who represents Texas’s 17th congressional district, flew to Ercan (Tymbou) after making an official visit to Turkey. He was invited to the north by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of commerce (KTTO).

He was received at Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s official residence by Tatar and the KTTO’s chairman Turgay Deniz.

Following on from his meeting with Tatar, he visited the Turkish Cypriot ‘parliament’ building where he was met by ‘speaker’ Zorlu Tore.

He said “I never hesitate to express myself; I always stand for justice, balance, and truth. There is actually a lot that can be said about injustices. I have visited the south in the past, and now I think it is perfectly right and fair to visit the north. In this context, I am happy to hear your views”.

Upon his exit from the ‘parliament’, Sessions was saluted by Turkish Cypriot policemen.

Asked by the Cyprus Mail to comment on the matter, the US Embassy in Nicosia said the country’s State Department “is aware that [Sessions] visited Cyprus in a non-official capacity”.

They added “as such, the Embassy did not provide any support for [his] non-official travel”.

“As a general matter, the United States recognises the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole legitimate government on the island. The United States does not recognise the ‘TRNC’”, they said.

“US officials regularly engage with Turkish Cypriot leaders, business leaders, and civil society members in the north of the island”, they added.