Narendra ModiReuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, embarked on his maiden trip to the United States since coming into power and being denied an American visa in 2005 by the George Bush government over the 2002 Gujarat riots.

In his pre-departure statement, Modi termed the US as a "vital partner" and expressed confidence that the five-day sojourn will mark the "start of a new chapter in our strategic partnership."

Modi will address the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and later travel to Washington for the summit with US President Barack Obama.

"I see the US as a vital partner for our national development, drawing especially on the rich possibilities of partnership in education, skills, research, technology and innovation -- and, above all, a shared commitment to human values," Modi said in his statement, as reported by IANS.

"Shared values, convergent interests and complementary strengths provide the foundation for natural partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies," he said.

Modi will also attend the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, where he is likely to speak on the pressing issues of terrorism and health crisis.

"The UN General Assembly is meeting at a moment of many pressing challenges for the international community -- a still fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world, growth and spread of terrorism, the Ebola health crisis in Africa, climate change and the endemic global challenge of poverty. I will call for a stronger global commitment and more concerted multilateral action in meeting these challenges," Modi said in his statement.

Modi is scheduled to have more than 50 political and business engagements during his trip, wherein he will engage with America's top political brass as well as the CEOs of leadings global businesses, including Google, Boeing, and Goldman Sachs among others.

He will also have three bilateral meetings with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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