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MIDDLE EAST AND GULF The commander of a UN peacekeeping force being deployed along the Iraq-Kuwait border flew to Baghdad Monday for two days of talks with Iraqi officials. UN officials said Austrian Lt. Gen. Gunther Greindl was expected back at his headquarters, a hotel on the outskirts of Kuwait City, Tuesday night. The UN force will replace US troops, the remainder of which began withdrawing from southern Iraq Sunday into a buffer zone along the Iraq-Kuwait border, ending an occupation that began Feb. 28 when allied for ces defeated the Iraqi Army.... Iraqi Foreign Minister Ahmed Hussein Khudayer said the German foreign minister's assertion that President Saddam Hussein should be put on trial for war crimes is obscene and childish. Hans-Dietrich Genscher had said: "All three factors of the Nuremberg trials apply in his case - an aggressive war, war crimes, and crimes against humanity." ... With basic services virtually restored, Kuwait is ready to invite home the estimated 400,000 of its citizens who fled the nation after Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion.


Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro began a three-day visit to the US Monday, including talks with President Bush, an address to Congress, and meetings with officials of international finance institutions.... Filming began Monday in Dallas on "JFK," a film by Oliver Stone about the investigations into the November 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. Many key locations around the city are to be used and certain buildings have been temporarily dressed to appear as they did in 1963. Dallas residents are fearful that the filming could prompt Americans to again see Dallas as "The City of Hate."


Dow Chemical Company president Frank Popoff said Sunday night in Atlanta that his industry must start working with such critics as consumer and "green" activists to improve both the environment and its own image. At the American Chemical Society's annual meeting, the Dow chief executive said clashes between industry, government, activists and the public had created an "environmental gridlock" in Washington.... Discord over who will foot the bill for the new world economic order was a sour note at the op ening Monday of a new international bank to rebuild the tattered economies of Eastern Europe. Some 39 heads of state and government from East and West took part in the inauguration of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the first institution of the post-cold-war era.... Water is seeping into more of Kuwaiti oil wells set ablaze by Iraqi soldiers in February, increasing the likelihood of long-term damage to the emirate's oil reserves, the Middle East Economic Survey said. Kuwaiti Oil Minist er Rashid Salim Al Ameeri said the country needs up to 24 months after extinguishing the fires at the wells to repair and develop the wells for normal production.

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