Easing isolation, Turkish Cypriots to open trade office in Israel

Northern Cyprus is opening a trade office in Israel, according to a prominent Israeli attorney, an indication of growing international acceptance of the isolated breakaway state. The office will open shortly in the Tel Aviv area, said lawyer Dov Weissglass, who was a close adviser to former prime minister Ariel Sharon. It will have a small number of staffers and deal with economic and commercial issues, according to Weissglass, who said he helped set the office up. He would not elaborate. The Turkish-occupied northern third of the island of Cyprus broke away from the Greek south and declared independence in 1983 but has been recognized only by Turkey itself. The southern Republic of Cyprus is a member of the United Nations and joined the European Union in 2004.