New Delhi, London sign 6-pt partnership accord

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New Delhi, Nov 19: Recognising the need that both cities have much to learn from each other, New Delhi and London today signed a six-point special partnership agreement which they both said was intended to promote cooperation in the fields of economic and business, sports promotion and city tourism, and urban transport, among others.

''The cities have come together to reinforce and further develop the long-standing links between them and to foster mutually beneficial solutions to common challenges. The desire to strengthen the relations between our cities is based on a foundation of shared democratic values and beliefs, celebrating the contribution of communities, and, in a spirit of international understanding to enhance the quality of the lives of the people in both cities, '' Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and London Mayor Ken Livingstone told a joint news conference here.

The agreement also includes cooperation in the arenas of environment, education and cultural exchange, they said.

They pledged to identify themes, common to both, that can generate new intiatives to further and nurture the increasingly powerful economic, social and cultural relationships between the two cities.

They also vowed to encourage and publicise existing exchanges between the two cities so that they can flourish to benefit a wider cross-section of the citizens of both.

They said New Delhi and London would be hosting Commonwealth Games and Olympics in 2010 and 2012 respectively and before they came up they both could learn so many things from each other, in terms of transport, sports promotion and urban transport, for the smooth conduct of the games.

To a query, Ms Dikshit said,'' Both the cities have common problems, but London has the advantage of having a one-third population of Delhi. We both recognise the problems of each other.

By regularly visiting each other's cities we can always pick good points of one another and help each other solve problems confronting both cities.'' Ms Dikshit added,'' Transport management is a must before the Commonwealth Games and in the latest initiative 1000 children have been trained in that field. They will now be giving tips to the people about road sense.'' ''The Sports Ministry, Indian Olympics Association and the Delhi Government are all involved in hosting the event. And for that massive efforts are afoot and even our Sports Minster recently visited Melbourne to see and inspect the sports stadia there. And I am quite confident and optimistic that the games will be hosted successfully after overcoming all the glitches and hitches,'' Ms Dikshit said.


UNI

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