Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cut short his first official visit to neighboring Guyana on Friday after his mother died, meaning talks on a planned South American energy alliance would be delayed.
Bolsonaro said his mother Olinda Bonturi Bolsonaro died at age 94 without revealing the cause of death.
“Com profundo pesar comunico o falecimento de minha querida mãe. Que Deus a receba em Sua infinita bondade. Neste momento estou me preparando para voltar ao Brasil”, disse Bolsonaro no Twitter.
Bolsonaro, who met with Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi in Paramaribo on Thursday, was due to fly to Georgetown to meet fellow Guyanese Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Friday, before returning to Brasília later in the day.
Bolsonaro’s first official trip to Guyana and Suriname aimed to discuss the steps to build an infrastructure that would better share the energy and natural resources of South American countries.
The two Presidents had a private meeting shortly after their arrival, then attended a working lunch, also accompanied by the President of the Republic of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
In the late afternoon, Presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Chandrikapersad Santokhi held an expanded meeting to discuss bilateral agreements in areas such as security and defense, infrastructure, energy, trade and the environment. At the end of the bilateral meeting, they signed a Joint Declaration.
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“It is a great satisfaction to be in Suriname, a brother and friend country. We brought in a team of ministers who seek to meet the just demands of our countries. We have our expertise in oil prospecting to offer the country and, for that, we brought our Minister of Mines and Energy. I thank and greet what we discussed earlier, regarding the possible priority for the country, through Petrobras, to collaborate in oil and gas prospecting”, highlighted President Jair Bolsonaro in a statement to the press.
Among the matters agreed between the two nations are the resumption of negotiations for the expansion of an agreement to cover the largest number of economic sectors and stimulate bilateral trade flows; negotiate bilateral sanitary and phytosanitary certifications to facilitate agricultural trade; hold a bilateral seminar involving businessmen from both countries with a focus on new opportunities in the oil and gas sector; intensify the current cooperation in security, with a focus on collaboration in the area of public security and the fight against transnational organized crime, among others.
“We have a lot to offer each other, as well as cooperating. This is our feeling, this is the reason for my coming here, in which I also thank you for the honorable invitation on the part of our President of Suriname. Thanks for the opportunity. Our peoples have a lot to gain”, concluded President Jair Bolsonaro.
In his speech, the President of Suriname highlighted the long partnership with Brazil, in particular, technical cooperation through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC). According to Chandrikapersad Santokhi, there are 25 projects, of which some are in the process of being implemented, others have already been formally signed and are ready to be implemented, in addition to others still in the negotiation stage in areas such as agriculture, education, natural resources, administration public, health, cyber security, information and communication technology, cooperation between central banks, justice and police.