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    People protest marching through a street in Skopje, Macedonia, on Thursday, March 2, 2017

    US Interprets Failed Macedonia Vote as Approving Name Change, Urges Compliance

    © AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski
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    2020

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US government welcomes what it sees as the "positive results" of Macedonia's renaming referendum, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White said on Monday, despite indications that turnout was insufficient for the vote to be binding.

    “The United States welcomes the positive results of Macedonia’s consultative referendum in which the citizens of Macedonia accepted the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece,” White said in a statement. “We strongly support implementing this agreement.”

    READ MORE: North Macedonia Referendum: How Many Nations Have Changed Their Names and Why?

    The Trump administration remains “unwavering” in its commitment to a strong bilateral defense relationship with Macedonia, which was a strong contributor to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and regional security in the Western Balkans, White said.

    “We support our Macedonian friends as they chart their own course to achieve peace and prosperity for their people,” she said.

    Chairman of Macedonia's State Election Commission Oliver Derkoski said on Monday that Macedonia's consultative referendum on the renaming the country had failed, as the turnout was below the required 50 percent. However, over 91.46 percent of those who voted, opted for the name change.

    If the country does change its name, it will allow Macedonia to become a member of the European Union and NATO, because prior to the agreement, the process was blocked by Greece, which expressed concerns that Skopje might try to claim Greece’s own region of the same name.

    Related:

    Over 90% of Macedonian Referendum Voters Chose to Rename Country
    North Macedonia Referendum: How Many Nations Have Changed Their Names and Why?
    Majority of Macedonians Support Changing Country's Name, EU Integration - PM
    NATO Welcomes Results of Referendum on Macedonia's Name - Stoltenberg
    Tags:
    Macedonia's constitutional name, name change, referendum, Dana White, United States, Macedonia, Greece
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