Macedonia results show support for name change to pave way for NATO membership
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Polling results show voters in Macedonia have shown support to change the country's name, a move that would pave the way for the nation to join NATO.

With almost half of polling stations counted, more than 90 percent of voters supported the agreement with Greece to change Macedonia's name to North Macedonia, The Associated Press reported.


Prime Minister Zoran Zaev earlier Sunday declared the results a "success for democracy and for a European Macedonia," according to the AP.

Greece has previously blocked Macedonia from joining NATO, arguing the country's name implies that Macedonia's territory includes Greece's Macedonia province. The dispute between the two nations was reignited following the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. 

The AP reported that turnout was low in Macedonia's referendum, with officials reporting it was at 34 percent a half-hour before polls closed. Opponents of the name change said the low turnout showed that citizens in the country didn't want the name to be changed.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis earlier this month visited Macedonia, where he said he planned to "make very clear" that the U.S. supported the nation as it considered whether to join NATO.