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The Middle East may not need another land dispute, but a Virginia dad has claimed a new kingdom there to fulfill a promise to make his 7-year-old daughter a princess.

Jeremiah Heaton has claimed an 800-square-mile mountainous patch between Sudan and Egypt, called Bir Tawil, which belongs to neither country. Heaton travelled there and planted a flag chosen by his children to claim the land for his family. Heaton, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012, received permission from the Egyptian government to travel to Bir Tawil. “Over the winter, Emily and I were playing and she has a fixation on princesses. She asked me in all seriousness if she’d be a real princess someday and I said she would,” Heaton told the Times Dispatch. He researched where she could become a princess and found the area of Bir Tawil. “It’s beautiful there,” added Heaton. “It’s an arid desert in Northeastern Africa. Bedouins roam the area; the population is actually zero.” When Heaton got home, he got Emily a crown and asked family members to address her as Princess Emily. “It’s cool,” said Emily. Heaton, who has named the land the Kingdom of North Sudan, says he wants to “pursue formal recognition with African nations.” He has even ordered letterheads with the country’s seal.

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