By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed on Thursday that the Brazilian government will sign an agreement with the United States for the use of the Alcântara Space Launch Base, located in the Northeastern state of Maranhão. The confirmation was made during a live broadcast on Bolsonaro’s social network.

Brazil, Maranhão,Brazil negotiating the renting out of Alcantara's launching base to the United States
Brazil negotiating the renting out of Alcantara’s launching base to the United States, photo courtesy of Brazilian Air Force.

“Since the Lula administration we have been trying to sign this agreement, and we have not been successful, much more due to an ideological issue than a technical issue,” said the President during the live broadcast.

“We have been losing money in that region for a long time; we could be launching satellites for the whole world,” added the President.

Bolsonaro, however, said that the agreement will require the approval by Brazil’s Congress before being implemented.

The agreement will be signed next week. Bolsonaro travels with a delegation of six ministers on Sunday (17) and on the 19th has a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House. The Brazilian delegation will return to Brasilia on Wednesday (20). Then the president will go to Chile.

The three-day official visit by Bolsonaro to the United States and the meeting with US President Donald Trump is expected to represent an important moment for Brazil, say Bolsonaro’s ministers.

“It is the resumption of a natural partnership,” said Foreign Affairs Minister, Ernesto Araujo, also present at the live broadcast.

“Unfortunately, in recent times it (relationship) has been neglected,” added the Minister.

During the trip, Minister Araújo said that Bolsonaro and Trump are also expected to discuss the crisis in Venezuela. Both countries support Juan Guaidó, self-declared Venezuelan president, Juan Guaidó.

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