The President of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus Ersin Tatar has urged the United States to accept the two-states policy he is advocating, which will “provide for a practical, fair and sustainable settlement not only for the two equal sides in Cyprus but also for the Eastern Mediterranean region.”
The comments came during a meeting the TRNC President held with US Republican Congressman Pete Sessions in Lefkoşa earlier today.
In a statement released after the meeting, held at the TRNC White House, the Turkish Cypriot leader called on the international community and the US specifically to “recognise our new policy that is based on two States and the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot Side.”
Congressman Sessions is currently visited the region. He travelled to the TRNC from Turkiye, arriving at the newly opened Ercan Airport this morning. A guest of the internationally recognised Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Mr Sessions was accompanied by his host, KTTO President Turgay Deniz.
Along with meeting the TRNC President, the congressman also visited the TRNC National Assembly, where he met with the TRNC Speaker of Parliament Zorlu Töre.
The American politician is one of very few to have entered the TRNC via Ercan, with most preferring to arrive in South Cyprus to avoid the wrath of the Greek Cypriots, who refuse to recognise the equal status of Turkish Cypriots and their state.
Congressman Sessions has told Turkish Cypriot dignitaries that he is “happy” to be visiting the TRNC and learn about the new Turkish Cypriot vision for a future settlement, having previously visited South Cyprus and learned about the Cyprus Conflict from the Greek Cypriot perspective.
At the TRNC Parliament, the Texan-born politician 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”.
Congressman Sessions was pictured being saluted by Turkish Cypriot police officers as he left the TRNC Parliament.
Cumhuriyet Meclisi Başkanı Zorlu Töre, Kıbrıs Türk Ticaret Odası’nın davetlisi olarak Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’nden Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti’ne bir ziyaret gerçekleştiren Cumhuriyetçi Partili Temsilciler Meclisi Üyesi Pete Sessions’ı kabul etti.https://t.co/KpD9eEhwu2 pic.twitter.com/ABw5luXgM4
— KKTC Meclis (@kktcmeclis) August 3, 2023
The visit has alarmed Greek Cypriot officials, who fear the congressman’s visit could from an important precedent in changing the TRNC’s official status.
Greek Cypriot newspaper Cyprus Mail asked the US Embassy in South Nicosia about the visit. They responded by stating the country’s State Department “is aware that [Sessions] visited Cyprus in a non-official capacity” and added that the American Embassy “did not provide any support for [his] non-official travel”.
The Embassy also stressed that the US “recognises the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the sole legitimate government on the island” and that “The United States does not recognise the TRNC”.
In an effort to play the incident down, the Embassy also stated that “US officials regularly engage with Turkish Cypriot leaders, business leaders, and civil society members in the north of the island.”