July 1, 2016 / 12:02 AM / a year ago

U.S. urges leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan to avoid ‎tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in separate calls on Thursday with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, noted the ceasefire in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh had largely held in recent weeks and urged the leaders to avoid tensions, the State Department said.

An ethnic Armenian soldier stands guard at the checkpoint near Nagorno-Karabakh's town of Martuni, April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Staff

Kerry asked the presidents to fulfill commitments they made to advance the peace process at a May 16 meeting in Vienna and a June 20 meeting in St. Petersburg, the department said in a statement.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh

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