The rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus are meeting in Geneva for a summit aiming at reunifying the Mediterranean island.

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Monday were kicking off three days of talks to clear up outstanding issues including the pivotal matter of how much territory each side will control in a federation.

The summit will culminate in a gathering of the island's so-called guarantors — Greece, Cyprus and Turkey — to tackle the difficult issue of post-settlement security arrangements.

Cyprus has been split since the summer of 1974, when Turkey sent in troops in the wake of a Greek-backed coup that aimed to unite the island with Greece. Following the invasion, the country was split along ethnic lines.