President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai welcomed peace talks between the Taliban and the United States, saying it could lead to an end of the bloodshed in Afghanistan.

In a statement issued by the presidential palace, the president said the Afghan war was not winnable by attacking Afghan homes, favouring a political solution.

"Afghanistan agrees with peace talks between the Taliban and the United States which will lead to establishing an office for the Taliban in Qatar," the presidential statement said.

The peace process, some Afghan experts believe, is no longer led and owned by Afghanistan - a condition which was set at the beginning of the process.

At the same time, President Karzai's chief spokesman Emal Faizi said that "a peace process not led and owned by Afghans would not succeed".

The Afghan government had initially opposed such an office for the Taliban in Qatar, suggesting Turkey and Saudi Arabia as alternatives.

The position was later changed.

The statement comes as on Tuesday the Taliban have asked for the release of their prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and agreed to have an office in Qatar.

The Taliban on Tuesday agreed that they are in contacts with the US and have reached preliminary agreements to establish such an office in the Gulf state of Qatar.

This is the first time that the Taliban have shown positive reaction to Afghan and international calls.

"Including our vast presence inside the country, we agree to have an office to negotiate with international community," the Taliban statement said. "So, we have reached preliminary agreements with Qatar and other countries. We also want to exchange our prisoners," Taliban statement added.