The Greek Cypriot president of ethnically divided Cyprus says he and the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots share a determination to overcome remaining hurdles in reunification talks.

Nicos Anastasiades told reporters after the year's final face-to-face meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Sunday that both men acknowledge the difficulties, but understand that they have to help each other deal with them.

Talks resumed last May amid high hopes that one of Europe's most intractable problems will be resolved and offer a note of optimism in a conflict-riven region that would also ease cooperation over the east Mediterranean's newfound gas deposits.

Among the key difficulties the leaders face is how to handle private property abandoned during Turkey's 1974 invasion following a coup aiming at union with Greece.