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Turkey to Sign EU Trade Protocol That Includes Cyprus

Turkey says it is ready to sign a protocol extending its customs agreement to include all of the European Union's 25 member nations, including Cyprus.

EU officials say they received a letter from the Turkish government confirming it is ready to sign the protocol in time for EU membership talks scheduled to begin on October 3. Turkey is required to sign the agreement as a condition for the talks to start.

An EU commission spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said Tuesday that Ankara's signing of the protocol does not amount to Turkish recognition of the Greek Cypriot government.

Turkey is the only country that recognizes the government of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot part of Cyprus.

The Greek Cypriots joined the European Union last May.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.