PIP: This issue of Background Notes examines the country of Iceland. In the profile section, the geography, people, government, economy, and membership in international organizations are briefly examined. An island located in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland, almost 80% of Iceland's land mass is relative wasteland (glaciers, lakes, a mountainous lava desert, and others). Literature is the heritage that Iceland has given the world, especially in the forms of poetry and the Sagas. Iceland is governed by a president who is elected to a 4-year term and who has limited powers as well as a Prime Minister and the Cabinet with most of the executive functions. The current party coalition is committed to Iceland's continued membership in NATO and to maintaining the presence of US forces at the Keflavik NATO Base. Mainly, the coalition has attempted to adopt economic measures to counter Iceland's economic difficulties. Its economic backbone is the fishing industry and the US is the major overseas market for fish products. There is currently an effort underway to spur greater GNP growth rates. Iceland maintains diplomatic and commercial relations with the most important nations of the East and West but its ties with other Nordic countries and the US are especially lose. Also included in this Background Notes issue is a section on travel notes, principal Iceland related US officials, principal, Iceland government officials, and history of the country.