Spain's Cervantes Institute will teach Spanish to 40,000 police officers in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais as the South American nation gears up to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

This is the first time the Minas Gerais state police force has turned to a foreign institution in order to take language instruction for its officers to a new level, the Cervantes Institute said Friday in a statement.

The training will be provided by the Cervantes center in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais.

This agreement follows those signed previously by the Cervantes Institute in Minas Gerais with universities, associations and foundations, and will serve to promote cultural and technical exchanges between Spanish police and their counterparts in that Brazilian state.

In recent years, the Cervantes Institute in Belo Horizonte has worked with a number of organizations in Minas Gerais, including the Culture, Education, Tourism, Science and Technology Departments, and the state's special office for World Cup preparations. EFE