Prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who was among Nordic leaders meeting Barack Obama in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday, seems to have come away from the meeting with a good impression of the American president. When asked whether Obama was a ‘cool guy,’ the prime minister responded, “He’s really likable,” Vísir reports. “He’s considered issues in depth and makes very strong, systematic arguments. It was a lot of fun to talk with him.”
Obama stopped in Sweden on the way to the G20 summit; his meeting with Nordic leaders was scheduled after he canceled a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. One of the primary topics discussed by the group was internet security, or, Sigmundur said, how it might be possible to simultaneously protect personal privacy, while ensuring that neither the state nor criminals misuse technology.
Additional topics of conversation included environmental protection and development aid, as well as Iceland’s knowledge of geothermal utilization.
“American interest in developments in the Nordic countries is clearly increasing a great deal. There was an important discussion about Nordic nations working together on development matters, whether in infrastructure, legislation, or bailout preparations,” Sigmundur said.
The situation in Syria was also discussed. “I emphasized that people should go through the United Nations and that the Security Council should also discuss the situation in Syria,” he said.
During the three hour meeting, the prime minister also invited Obama to visit Iceland. He said the president took the suggestion well and that Obama said he very much wanted to come to Iceland as soon as possible.