LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Tuesday called the US to retract its “extremely wrong” sanctions on Turkey.

“It is extremely wrong to impose sanctions on Turkey just because it purchased S-400 missiles for its own stability and that of its region,” Prime Minister Ersan Saner said in a written statement.

Saner’s remarks came after the US Treasury Department on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

The sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target the country’s Defense Industries Presidency (SSB), including Ismail Demir, head of SSB, and three other officials.

Saner stressed that Turkey is the “sole guarantee” for the Turkish Cypriot people’s existence on the island and the sovereignty of the TRNC.

He also noted that Ankara’s power and apt policies made it the most important component for peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus.

Saner added that Washington had made “contradicting moves and wrong choices” by lifting the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration, which is not a member of the NATO alliance unlike Turkey, which Washington refused to sell Patriot missiles defense systems, as well as by failing to fulfill its promises to Ankara under the joint F-35 fighter jet project.

He called on the US to “revert from its mistake and develop healthy relations with Turkey.”

*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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