Next week's Arab League Summit in Baghdad is a very significant moment in Iraq's development.
Quite apart from any discussions and resolutions at the conference itself, the staging of the event in Iraq for the first time since 1990 demonstrates the acceptance of an independent Iraq into the community of Arab states.
Preparation for the summit has also provided an opportunity for Iraq and other nations to tidy up some loose ends, such as the re-appointment of an Ambassador from Saudi Arabia to Baghdad, and the resolution of some long-standing issues with Kuwait.
But the conference comes with costs, the most obvious of which is the human cost of the terrorism intended to disrupt the event. For several days, Baghdad will effectively be on lockdown, with security the top priority. Our Expert Blogger, John Drake, has advice for anyone staying in the capital over this period.
In the meantime, Iraq Business News will keep you up to date with developments.