The Cyprus problem “is still solvable”, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp)’s head Colin Stewart said on Monday.

Speaking at an event at the Ledra Palace hotel to mark the 60th anniversary of Unficyp’s creation, he said he sees a window of opportunity in the Cyprus problem.

He pointed out the new closer relationship between Greece and Turkey, the fact that President Nikos Christodoulides is “pushing actively for a new political process”, as well as the fact that “for the first time in seven years, we have a personal envoy.”

For this reason, he said, “I believe that the Cyprus problem is still solvable. However, to get there we need political courage, a willingness to make difficult decisions, to criticise and to compromise.”

However, despite his optimism that the Cyprus problem remains solvable, he said “it is becoming increasingly clear that time is running out as the space for a mutually acceptable solution narrows every year.”

“We do not know whether or not there will be another opportunity if this one fails. We cannot afford to wait and see what happens,” he added.

He said the 60th anniversary of Unficyp is “a sad reminder to all of us that the Cyprus problem has remained unsolved for too long, despite all the efforts which have been made to find a solution.”