By Associated Press - Tuesday, October 2, 2018

BERLIN (AP) - Germany is adding its voice to calls for Macedonia to push ahead with an accord with Greece to change the country’s name, a move that would put it on a path toward closer relations with NATO and the European Union.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said overwhelming support in a referendum Sunday was “a basis” to proceed, although voter turnout was low.

Seibert said Tuesday it was important to continue advocating the implementation of the accord. He said the deal offers a “historic” chance to remove an obstacle to Macedonia’s relations with NATO and the EU.

Seibert argued the required 50 percent turnout, which supporters of the deal didn’t achieve, was “very high” because voter registers included many people who have long since left the country.

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