India first stop on Queen`s baton relay

London: Queen Elizabeth II`s baton for next year`s Commonwealth Games will arrive in India tonight following a grand launch by her at Buckingham Palace here earlier this week.

The Games are being hosted by the Scottish city of Glasgow from July 23 to August 3, 2014.
In New Delhi, the baton will be received by senior officials of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Randhir Singh, the India representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Humza Yousaf, minister for external affairs and international development for the Scottish government, whose India visit coincides with the baton arrival, said: "The Queen`s baton relay is an extraordinarily exciting part of the Commonwealth Games 2014.

"The Glasgow Games present an unrivalled opportunity for Scotland to create new relations and deepen friendships it already has with India and other Commonwealth countries across the world.

"The whole of Scotland is gearing up for next year, when Glasgow takes centre-stage and we welcome the world to what will be the greatest ever Games.

"The Scottish government is determined to capitalise on the social and economic opportunities of the Games to leave a lasting legacy for Scotland.

"Through events such as the Queen`s Baton Relay, we can showcase to the Commonwealth why Scotland is a great country in which to live, study, work, invest and also to visit," added Yousaf, who will undertake several business, cultural and diplomatic engagements during his six-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai.

He will also meet representatives of government and investors across a range of sectors.

British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan will also celebrate the baton`s arrival at his residence over the weekend.

"I am honoured to welcome the Queen`s baton relay in India. It will encourage us to think about many of the core values of the Commonwealth," Sir James said.

"It will encourage us to promote the well-being of young people, in the spirit of equality and respect. And the very design of the Baton will encourage us to think about the Commonwealth values of openness and transparency, the bedrocks of democracy," he added.

While in India, the baton will travel to the Taj Mahal in Agra and India Gate, National Stadium and Qutab Minar in New Delhi. It will depart for Bangladesh on Monday.