HERAT, Afghanistan, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- An annual security conference kicked off in western Afghan city here on Friday with speakers at the opening session calling for more efforts to bring about peace and stability in the war-torn country.
Participants from different institutions and regional countries will focus on Afghan security and peace during the 7th Herat Security Dialogue, a two-day conference starting Friday in the city, capital of western Afghan province of Herat.
The event was organized by Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS), an independent Afghan research institute.
"This year, we are holding security dialogue in Herat again but unfortunately Afghanistan is still struggling with a range of challenges," Rangin Dadfar Spanta, chairman of AISS board, told participants.
"We need dialogue, we need talks, the practice of violence must be ended," Spanta former Afghan national security adviser and former foreign minister said, adding that the only way to end the prolonged conflict was negotiations and political dialogues.
Addressing the event, Ismatulla Irgashev, special representative of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan, said that Uzbekistan will continue its efforts to help Afghans to bring peace and stability and build a peaceful future.
"We are with you, we are at your side and we will never leave you alone," Irgashev said.
He also noted that Tashkent will continue its efforts for increasing the annual trade volume between the two neighboring countries to one billion U.S. dollars.
He added that Uzbekistan supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks with the Taliban and other militant groups.
The comments came as the Afghan Taliban outfit confirmed earlier this month that its leaders had held talks with the U.S. special envoy for Afghan peace and reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, in Qatar's capital Doha.
The Afghan-born U.S. veteran diplomat Khalilzad, after touring Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and meeting Taliban leaders, visited Kabul earlier this month and held talks with leaders and politicians within and outside the Afghan government.