Indian President promises that New Delhi will be ready for Commonwealth Games
October 27 - New Delhi is ready to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, India's President Pratibha Patil promised after today being given a ceremonial welcome and state banquet at Windsor Castle by the Queen.
Patil is visiting Britain to attend the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace on London, which will travel through 70 countries and reach the Indian capital when the Games open on October 3, 2010.
But there remain concerns over Delhi's readiness to host the Games amid fears over security and whether the facilities will be completed on time.
Patil said: "Delhi is quite prepared and they can come, they are most welcome and Delhi is very, very ready to welcome all those people who want to come here.
Among those invited to the Windsor Castle banquet were leading members of Britain's Indian community, including the comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar and national figures such as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
The Queen told Patil: "Britain and India have a long shared history which today is a source of great strength in building a new partnership fit for this new century.
"Nearly two million of our own citizens are tied by descent and enduring family links to India.
"They represent one of the United Kingdom's most dynamic and successful communities, and I am delighted to welcome many of the leaders of that community here this evening.
"Many of your own fellow citizens live and work in the United Kingdom.
"They have enriched our society and continue to refresh and strengthen the bonds between our two countries."