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Kerry Concerned with Violence Over Nagorno-Karabakh

FILE - Azerbaijan's army tanks moves in the direction of Agdam, Azerbaijan.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to enter into a sustained peace process to settle the long-standing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kerry met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev Thursday at the NATO summit in Wales.

The State Department said Kerry expressed concern regarding last month's fighting that killed at least 12 soldiers. He called on both presidents to strictly respect the 1994 cease-fire.

The U.S. believes normalized relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan will being peace and prosperity to the peoples of both countries and stability in the South Caucasus.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan. It declared independence in 1992.

Fighting over the region killed about 30,000 people before a 1992 cease-fire. A peace treaty has never been signed and tensions between both sides occasionally boil over into violence.