India committed to stronger ties with Jordan - Modi

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaving Jordan and going to Ramallah in a chopper provided by Jordan government and escorted by choppers from Israel Air Force.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a 4-Nation visit from February 9 to 12.

Abbas stressed that Palestinians have "never rejected negotiations any day; we were and still are ready for it, and believe that forming a multilateral mechanism of several states is the best approach to overlook those negotiations". "Now we see them both as mutually independent and exclusive and as part of this policy the Prime Minister is undertaking this visit".

Modi said that India was proud to help the Palestinians build state institutions and support their budget and projects.

India was one of the earliest champions of the Palestinian cause, but in recent years turned to Israel for high-tech military equipment and anti-terrorism cooperation.

After a bilateral meeting, Abbas gave the Indian leader a medal "in recognition of his wise leadership" and "efforts to promote the historic relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India". India recently voted for a resolution that criticised US's decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Hamster flushed down toilet after being rejected from flight
Belen Aldecosea , right, says Spirit Airlines pressured her to flush Pebbles , her pet hamster, down an airport toilet. Aldecosea said she emailed the airline after the incident and was offered a voucher for a free flight but she declined.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Ramallah on Saturday after arriving in Ammas from New Delhi. Modi said he hoped peace could be reached "quickly, through dialogue and understanding".

This is Modi's second visit to the UAE, home to around three million expatriate Indians, after his visit in 2015, which was the first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years. Soon after his arrival, Modi visited the Mausoleum of in and laid a wreath at the grave of the iconic Palestinian leader.

The PM will also meet His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and will deliver the keynote address at the 6th World Government Summit in Dubai. This time Modi skipped in a clear message that is de-hyphenating its ties with and Palestine.

The Palestinians have rejected the US sponsorship of peace talks with Israel in the wake of Washington's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in early December. He asked to facilitate the peace process with "We rely on India's role as an voice of great standing and weigh through its historical role in the and in all forum and its increasingly growing power on the strategic and economic levels, in a way that is conducive to just and desired peace in our region", Abbas.

Modi also will visit the United Arab Emirates and Oman, where there are sizable communities of expatriate Indian workers, before returning to India.

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