The visit by US Congressman Pete Sessions to the north was condemned as a violation of international law and a deviation from the official US position, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

“Clearly, the illegal transition is a conscious choice of the congressman himself, which goes against the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and obviously serves other purposes, such as trying to create impressions. In Mr Sessions’ case, unlike others, prevention was not possible precisely because of his history of relations with Turkey.

“The Republic of Cyprus is in direct and close communication with the USA on this matter, having as a compass their long-standing cooperation, which is based, among other things, on the official position of the US authorities on the Cyprus issue, which remains unchanged and consistent with international law,” the ministry said.

Sessions visited the north on Thursday, becoming the first American politician to land at Ercan (Tymbou) airport, and met with high-level Turkish Cypriot figures.

Sessions, a Republican who represents Texas’ 17th congressional district, flew to Ercan (Tymbou) following 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.

He then visited the Turkish Cypriot ‘parliament’ building where he was met by ‘speaker’ Zorlu Tore.

“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,” Session said during the meeting.

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.