Al-Qaeda Seeking To Benefit from Peace

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Context
With the 2011 Arab uprising still boiling, Western leaders are seeking ways to put an end to the nearly decade-long Afghan War where the Taliban remain defiant. According to latest reports, Turkey has granted the Taliban permission to set up an office in Istanbul. This could be the start of direct official talks with the Taliban, which up to now have been conducted behind closed doors. At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reported recently that Al-Qaeda was slowly making a come back to Kunar and Nuristan provinces in eastern Afghanistan, setting up camps and expanding its influence for the first time in several years following the US withdrawal to more populated areas. By filling the vacuum left behind by NATO and US forces, Al-Qaeda may be planning to manipulate the war theater and achieve its wider objectives in the region.