At the height of the cold war people everywhere on the globe were affected by the threat and hostility of the two superpowers, the US and the USSR, towards each other. Both superpowers represented conflicting ideologies, and both had nuclear weapons. It was generally felt that a nuclear war was possible or even imminent. As such international politics had a psychological impact on everyday life as a lot of people had the consequences of the nuclear bomb in their minds as it had been used in Japan only 40 years earlier. If we remember correctly, it was Henry Kissinger in the Nixon administration who came up with the idea that a meeting face to face of world leaders could prove to be healthy. As humans, they might like each other and even become friends. One such friendship that significantly affected world history, although allies, was the friendship of Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. One could argue that, although in disagreement, both Gorbachev and Reagan liked and respected each other, and their meeting in Hofdi house had an immense effect on the decline of the cold war. So a face to face meeting of world leaders is probably a good idea. It is also a good idea to have such a meeting in the small capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. But why?
- A meeting could be a symbolic statement that world leaders strive towards peace as was the case of the meeting between Gorbachev and Reagan in Höfði house. More so as the term cold war seems to pop up again and again in international politics. It might be a good time to revoke the term détente.
- A face to face meeting could speed the process towards solutions and peace in places where the two superpowers are major players. It could ease the pain of millions and give hope of a better world, as did the Gorbachev and Reagan meeting in Höfði house.
- Höfði house is a small building with a fascinating history. It gives a meeting between two world leaders a low key framework. It is a place that underlines the fact that they emphasize the agenda between them and the result of their talks.
- Iceland, the home of Höfði house, is a peaceful country that gained its independence by utilizing the power of the pen, written words and decades of debates and arguments, but not with weapons. Icelanders take pride in the fact that not a single person lost its life in our struggle for Independence.
- Iceland has for a very long time, also during the cold war, had a good relationship with both the US and Russia, including the Soviet Union. Good relationship on all levels including political, commercial and cultural.
We could probably find many other reasons why Iceland, Reykjavík, and Höfði House should be the meeting place between the leaders of Russia and the United States of America. We could add that Iceland is a peaceful, wonderful and beautiful country with a long tradition of democracy and good cooperation with the rest of the world.