U.S. President Barack Obama on Jan. 13 will welcome Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to the White House to keep the appointed meeting the pair have had pending for months, government sources said.

Rajoy is scheduled to come to Washington and then to travel the next day to Ankara to participate in the Spanish-Turkish Summit where he will co-preside with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan.

The Spanish and U.S. leaders were both in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday for the religious service in memory of Nelson Mandela.

In September, the two men participated in the G20 summit in St. Petersburg and Obama told Rajoy that he had instructed his staff to move up the pending meeting between them in Washington.

In the conversation they had at the time, the U.S. leader praised the progress made by the Spanish economy.

The visit to the White House, which will be Rajoy's first since becoming prime minister, has been in the works since March 2012, when the two men met in Seoul at the Nuclear Security summit.

The trip was postponed because Obama had to deal with his campaign for a second term as president.

In Washington, the pair will analyze bilateral relations and will take advantage of the occasion to review assorted international policy matters. EFE