CORFU, Greece, (Reuters) - Nato and Russia on Saturday restarted formal cooperation on broad security threats but failed to bridge fierce differences over Georgia in their first high-level talks since the war in the Caucasus region. The deal emerged after Nato Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the two sides recognised it was time to crank up joint efforts against Afghan insurgents and drug trafficking, Somali piracy, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. We have restarted our relations at a political level, we also agreed to restart the military to military contacts which had been frozen since last August, Nato Chief Scheffer said, referring to the Russia-Georgia war. The Nato-Russia Council is now back in gear. We agreed not to let disagreements bring the whole train to a halt. On Georgia, there are still fundamental differences ... (But) Russia needs Nato and Nato needs Russia. Afghanistan is clearly, also from the Russian side, a dossier where more and closer cooperation is certainly within the range of the possible, he said, and this could include intensifying counter-narcotics operations. Russian FM was decidedly more reserved about the deal struck with Nato counterparts on the Greek island of Corfu after protracted mutual recriminations over Georgia that sank relations to a post-Cold War low. Lavrov called the agreement to a certain extent a positive development and citing very frank exchanges, alluding in part to intractable differences over Georgias status. Lavrov repeated that Russias recognition of the independence of two rebel regions from Georgia was an irreversible new reality and the West should get used to it. Russia repulsed a Georgian attempt to retake South Ossetia in August 2008 and has blocked an extension of an OSCE peace monitoring mission in Georgia, which expires on Tuesday, by insisting on a separate mandate for South Ossetia. Western diplomats fear the OSCE military observers imminent departure might lead to new fighting in tinderbox Georgia. Many of the ministers will stay on for an informal European Union review of ties with Iran over its post-election crackdown on opposition protesters, and an OSCE session to tackle Western-Russian grievances stoked by the Georgia conflict. The meetings come a week before a summit between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, and a summit of Group of Eight powers in Italy. A senior US official said earlier Nato also hoped for cooperation with Russia in counter-piracy operations off Somalia and to extend, to a Nato level, bilateral talks on transit of military supplies to Afghanistan through Russian territory. On Sunday, OSCE foreign ministers will assess ways to converge views on Georgia and a new European security architecture proposed by Medvedev.