US President Joe Biden warmly welcomed Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to the White House on Friday, as part of an official visit to Washington that the Socialist Party leader and his team have long been seeking. 

Biden started the meeting in Oval Office by thanking Sanchez for his support for Ukraine after the Russian invasion last year, and also stated that both countries are working in the same direction to combat the issue of migration, Europa Press reported. 

The Spanish prime minister drew attention to the ‘excellent’ relationship between the two countries, saying that they were ‘allies and friends’. 

Spain has already that it will be working with the United States in a program that will see some of the many migrants who arrive at the North American country’s border taken to the European state instead. 

There was no further detail released, however, about that program during Sanchez’s visit. 

The official trip marked the first official visit by Pedro Sanchez to the White House, and comes just ahead of the local and regional elections that will be held on May 28. 

A general election is also due to be called for the month of December, at which Sanchez is likely to be seeking a second term. 

The Socialist Party is currently governing in coalition with leftist Unidas Podemos. 

Sanchez is the sixth Spanish prime minister to visit the White House since Spain returned to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. 

The last visit was made by former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, of the conservative Popular Party (PP), in 2017, when he was received by then-president Donald Trump.

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