Cyprus' president has warned U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that time is needed to negotiate a deal reunifying the ethnically-split island without "deficiencies, gaps and ambiguities" that may lead Greek and Turkish Cypriots to reject it in referendums.

Nicos Anastasiades said progress has been made on "an important number" of issues including power sharing. But he said differences remain in "all chapters" and raising expectations that a deal is "within immediate reach" should be avoided.

Anastasiades made the appeal to the U.N. chief during a meeting last month in Davos, Switzerland, that included breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

The Associated Press obtained Anastasiades' remarks in a document Monday from an official who provided it on condition of anonymity because he didn't want to be named breaching a confidentiality pledge.