A retreat by NATO-trained Afghan forces in Kunduz this fall came after more than a decade of military operations against the Taliban. Many recognize the need to include the group in any political settlement.
Harsh comments by Ayatollah Khamenei have reined in hopes of better cooperation in the wake of the nuclear deal, and new details about the allegations against Jason Rezaian have been made public in recent days.
Saturday's twin bombings at a peace rally in Ankara were the worst terror attack in modern Turkish history. The government says the Islamic State is the likely culprit, but critics accuse the government of complicity.