Director General of Iranian Foreign Ministry and special envoy for Caspian Sea issues Mehdi Safari hold talks with deputies of the Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov and Viktor Kalyuzhny. The information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that in the course of the talks the sides pointed to the importance of close cooperation between Russia and Iran concerning the situation in Afghanistan both in bilateral format and within the framework of international efforts, including under the UN auspices. Issues of stepping up trade and economic ties in view of the preparation for a regular session of the Russian-Iranian commission on trade and economic cooperation were also discussed. Safari and Kalyuzhny considered the pace of negotiating process to develop new legal status of the Caspian Sea, the Foreign Ministry noted. The sides confirmed that Russia and Iran view "preserving Caspian as a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation" as a primary task. The sides agreed to step up joint and parallel efforts to reach an agreement, as soon as possible, on the new status of the Caspian Sea based on general accord of the five coastal states. The meeting of heads of Caspian states should play an important part in this process, the Foreign Ministry reported.