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US: Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh 'Seems to Have Taken Hold'

  • Ken Schwartz

Ethnic Armenian fighters stand atop Kamaz military trucks passing through Martakert province in Azerbaijan's Armenian-administered region of Nagorno-Karabakh, April 4, 2016.

Ethnic Armenian fighters stand atop Kamaz military trucks passing through Martakert province in Azerbaijan's Armenian-administered region of Nagorno-Karabakh, April 4, 2016.

The United States says the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh "seems to have taken hold" and encourages both sides to strict adherence.

Fours days of renewed fighting over the disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan killed at least 60 people. It was some of the worst violence since the war ended in 1994.

A State Department spokesman said Tuesday the U.S. urges any government that has influence over the two sides to dissuade them from further violence.

The current chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said OSCE’s “immediate efforts must now focus on stabilizing the ceasefire and preventing any new escalation.”

An ethnic Armenian fighter carries Kalashnikov machine guns to his comrade-in-arms at Martakert province in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Monday, April 4, 2016.

An ethnic Armenian fighter carries Kalashnikov machine guns to his comrade-in-arms at Martakert province in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Monday, April 4, 2016.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan, but has been under control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since the 1994 truce.

But what looks like a territorial dispute between neighbors could potentially turn into something much more serious.

Russia is obligated by a security treaty to come to Armenia's aid if the country is attacked while Turkey is one of Azerbaijan's post powerful allies and promises to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Azerbaijan.

After a meeting in Vienna, OSCE said the group's co-chairs stressed the importance of returning to "the political process on the basis of a sustainable ceasefire."

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