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Dead Sea Back in the Running for World Wonder With PA Approval

PA Chairman Abbas changes mind and joins Israel and Jordan in supporting the Dead Sea in the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World Contest.
By Yehudah Lev Kay
First Publish: 7/1/2009, 1:37 PM

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Four days after it was publicized that the Palestinian Authority was refusing to support the Dead Sea in the Seven Wonders of the World contest, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to join Israel and Jordan in backing the famous lake.

The Dead Sea is currently ranked in seventh place in the “Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls” category of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World Contest, which would earn it a spot in the next stage of the competition. However, the PA had declined to join a committee of support for the lake’s nomination, which would disqualify it according to contest rules.

After hearing of the PA’s intransigence, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov decided to take a personal initiative on the matter, and appealed to Civil Administration Chief General Yoav Mordechai to intervene. His efforts succeeded in convincing Abbas to sign on to the contest.

As of Wednesday, the competition’s website had not been updated to reflect the decision, but officials said that it would take a few days for the proper forms to be filled out and submitted. Anyone can vote for their favorite natural wonders in the remaining six days of the contest at www.new7wonders.com.