Cyprus' government spokesman says the United States is willing help both sides overcome key hurdles holding back progress in talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically split island nation.

Nicos Christodoulides told state radio Wednesday that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades asked U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to convey to the Turkish side the need to resolve "substantial disagreements" on specific aspects of sharing power in an envisioned federation.

There are also disagreements on how to handle private property lost after Cyprus's division in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aiming at union with Greece.

Anastasiades also told Nuland Turkey must "tangibly demonstrate" its stated desire for a peace deal.

Negotiations between Anastasiades, a Greek Cypriot, and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are in their 14th month.