Turkish minister 'more optimistic than ever' on Cyprus deal

Turkey's foreign minister says he is "more optimistic than ever" that an agreement can be reached to reunite the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

But Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters after discussing Cyprus with new Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday that there are still "serious issues" regarding territory, the map, security and guarantees.

Nonetheless, he said the framework and understanding are there to reach a "settlement in Cyprus."

"And we need this not only as Turkey, Greece, or two sides in Cyrus — but the east Mediterranean, our region, and the world need such a positive development," Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu spoke ahead of three days of talks in Geneva starting Jan. 9 between the island's Greek Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades, and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.