The reunion was a non-official meeting, not supposed to be any sort of negotiation, where all participants were free to express their personal opinions on a non-attributive basis
Both sides, on the one hand, confirmed with official statements the participation to the meeting and, on the other hand, clarified that it was the participants were attending the meetings in their personal capacities. Afghan government called the meetings a ‘scientific discussions’, the Taliban used the definition ‘research conference’; both the sides underlined that the meeting should not be misconstrued as peace or negotiation talks. Still, after years of efforts to get a concrete peace process going, expectations were relatively high for the meeting.
On the other side, Afghan government group included an assorted range of representatives, among them reconciled Taliban; Tajik, Pashtun and Uzbek leaders; and President Ashraf Ghani’s uncle, Abdul Qayoum Kochai. It is a clear sign of the Afghan government commitment to follow the strategy of the dialogue and the compromise in order to establish a sort of agreement aimed to the power-sharing and a calculated balance of power.
Furthermore, one of the most important factor is represented by the location of the meeting; this is a clear indicator of the willingness of the Qataris to play a key role as intermediaries in Afghan peace talks.
Finally, considering the Pakistani interest in the Taliban dynamics, the Qatari conference could represent an effort by the Afghan Taliban to strike out independently of the Pakistanis.