The rival leaders of ethnically split Cyprus say they will meet with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon later this month to take stock of ongoing reunification talks and ask him to step up his personal involvement in the months ahead.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, a Greek Cypriot, and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said in a joint statement after meeting Wednesday that much progress has been achieved in 16 months of talks, but key differences remain.

The two leaders repeated their commitment to intensifying talks with the aim of reaching an accord on Cyprus' decades-old division by the end of this year.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aimed at union with Greece.