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Delhi ready to host 2010 Commonwealth Games: Patil

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London/New Delhi, Oct. 27 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who is currently on a visit to the United Kingdom where she will official accept the baton to signal the launch of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010, has told the BBC that the Indian capital is fully geared to stage the mega sporting event.

"No. Delhi is quite prepared and they (the visitors) can come, they are most welcome and Delhi is very, very ready to welcome all those people who want to come here. No problem," Patil said in an interview to BBC television.

Patil further went to state that her visit to London, the first by an Indian Head of State after nearly two decades, is aimed at strengthening the India-UK strategic partnership that was conceived in January 2004.

Describing the United Kingdom as India's fifth largest global partner in trade, Patil said her country looks forward to more investment.

"Now, mutual trade has gone up to 12 billion pounds...The UK is also the fourth largest investor in India and India is the third largest investor in the UK, second largest so far as creation and securing jobs are concerned," said Patil.

Accepting the fact that Britain is experiencing one of its longest periods of recession in history, Patil, however, said that inspite of this adverse situation, there was plenty of scope and opportunities in both countries to improve, and or, increase trade relations.

"We think that in spite of this adverse situation (economic slowdown), there are plenty of scope and opportunities in both countries to improve trading relationship," she said.

On the issue of terrorism and the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, Patil described it as a crime against humanity, and urged the international community to work together to counter such audacious attacks by terrorists.

On the issue of climate change, which likely to be addressed in greater detail during the Copenhagen Summit in December, Patil said the UK and other countries have the technological knowhow and skills to assist lesser developed countries counter the problem.

"India wants to have cooperation in that field and also financial assistance so that we can also take immediate action on that," she said.

"About eight missions have been set up for that (climate change). India is seriously looking into this, how to fight this. We are working on conservation of energy and new renewable sources. We look forward to having cooperation with the UK," she added.

She also revealed that in the cuurent time of global recession, India was focussed on inclusive growth, with a special emphasis on improving standards of education and rural health. India, she said, was also for promoting the empowerment of women, and in this regard, the government has created a national mission for social and economic empowerment. (ANI)

Story first published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 18:20 [IST]
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