President Nicos Anastasiades does not believe it will be possible to have a referendum on a solution by next March, he was reported as saying on Sunday.
According to CyBC, in an interview with the newspaper Reporter, the President said that unless the current situation changes radically, he did not think a referendum could be held by then.
He reportedly said there were differences on thorny issues, and that it was not the timeframe that counted but the essence.
Anastasiades noted that the most difficult issues in the negotiations were the property, territorial adjustments, the guarantees and the troop withdrawal timetables.
He also referred to the issue of basic freedoms and human rights.
In particular, on the issue of guarantees, the President said a modern European state had no need of guarantees and that a formula for guarantees was contained in Chapter 7 of the Charter of the United Nations. The Turkish Cypriot side favours a system of guarantees.
An increased presence of UN troops, Anastasiades added, could monitor the implementation of a solution for a period of time.
Asked whether he excluded the possible involvement of NATO in guarantees and security, Anastasiades said there was no need to create problems when there were alternatives.