The first Kuwaiti flight to Iraq in more than twenty years landed in Najaf Airport today.
But why in the southern, holy city of Najaf and not in Baghdad? Officials said that trips to Baghdad will be the next step, withought mentioning details.
After the significant role Kuwait played in the occupation of Iraq in 2003, one would have thought that its relations with the new Iraqi leaders would have been "chummy" - At least that's what many Iraqis thought. But the truth of the matter is that relations between Iraq and Kuwait are still "strained".
Kuwait made a show of goodwill at the Arab League summit meeting that was held in Baghdad in late March when it's ruler, the Emir himself, attended. Although some say that the concessions made by Maliki to ensure the Emir's presence were well worth it for Kuwait.
During the AL summit, Kuwaiti officials said there were still many unresolved issues between the two countries that are holding them back, naming some: finalizing the border-line in accordance with the UN mandate, Iraqi debt and the unknown fate of Kuwaitis taken by Saddam during his occupation of Kuwait.
In spite of the hope for better relations between the two contries that this step brings, many Iraqis feel that there is a lot of bad feeling on both sides. Kuwaiti looks on Iraq and remembers humiliation and loss, and Iraqis look on Kuwait as a principal factor in the occupation and therefore partly responsible for all the loss of life that ensued and feel that more time is needed to heal the wounds and make the tentative steps forward more sincere.