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US NewsBrazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer

17:00  27 august  2019
17:00  27 august  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Bolsonaro said he wouldn’t make a final decision until Macron apologized for remarks that Bolsonaro considered a challenge to his credibility. Brazil ’ s ambassador to France told national television early Tuesday that the country would reject the G - 7 offer because it had not been included

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has ruled out accepting a G 7 offer of aid to fight fires in the Amazon rainforest unless he gets an apology from his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron . Mr Bolsonaro said the French leader should apologise for insulting him personally by calling him a liar.

SAO PAULO, Brazil —Brazil’s president appeared Tuesday to walk back an initial rejection of a $22.2 million package from the Group of Seven nations to help fight fires sweeping through the Amazon rainforest.

But President Jair Bolsonaro said any consideration of the aid remained tied up in his dispute with President Emmanuel Macron — even as officials in the fire-stricken regions spoke of negotiating directly with other countries for help if needed.

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As Brazil said it would reject a m (£16m) G 7 contribution to fight the fires, Jair Bolsonaro spurned Macron ’s criticism of his environmental record and Brazil ’ s leader said he had been cheered by an earlier tweet in which the US president said Bolsonaro was “working very hard on the Amazon fires

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Brazil would only accept the offer of aid if French President Emmanuel Macron retracts comments that he found offensive. "Mr Macron must withdraw the insults he made against me," Bolsonaro told reporters in the capital Brasilia. "To talk or accept anything

Bolsanaro said he would not make a final decision until Macron apologized for remarks that Bolsonaro considered a challenge to his credibility and an attack on Brazil’s sovereignty.

Gallery: Fires in Brazil and the Amazon (Photos)

Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer
Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer

“Before speaking or accepting anything from France, even if it comes from the best possible intentions, he must retract his words. Then we can talk,” he told journalists.

The comments are the latest escalation of the feud between the two presidents while the world’s most precious rainforest burns.

Macron threatened last week to block a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Latin America, saying Bolsonaro lied to him about his commitment to the environment. Over the weekend, Bolsonaro appeared to mock the appearance of French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife.

Related: Why the Amazon fires may only just be getting started (Washington Post)

Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer © Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron

Brazil had said it would reject the aid offer because it was not involved in the decision-making process, the country’s ambassador to France told national television earlier on Tuesday.

Bolsonaro — a climate change skeptic — has questioned the group’s “colonial mentality.”

“We cannot accept that a President, Macron, issues inappropriate and gratuitous attacks against the Amazon,” he tweeted. “Nor that he disguises his intentions behind an ‘alliance’ of the G-7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if it were a colony or no man’s land.” Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer © Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images Brazilian farmer Helio Lombardo Do Santos and a dog walk through a burnt area of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on August 26, 2019.

But Bolsonaro’s administration appeared split on whether to accept the money.

On Monday, Brazil’s environmental minister said he welcomed the aid. “I think we need to aggregate as many tools as possible to resolve this,” he said on Brazilian television on Monday. Governors in the Amazon said they were willing to bypass Brazil’s federal government and negotiate directly with Europe if necessary.

“We cannot be without these resources,” state governor Wilson Lima told local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo on Monday.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands apology from Macron, says might accept G-7 offer © AP Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro, right, flanked by his wife Michelle Bolsonaro.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo urged European countries to channel aid through the United Nations Climate Convention instead of creating new initiatives.

“It is very clear, that some political channels, are trying to extrapolate real environmental concerns and use them in a fabricated ‘crisis’ as a pretext to introduce mechanisms for foreign control of the Amazon,” he tweeted.

Bolsonaro campaigned on a promise to open the Amazon up for business and development. Since his inauguration in January, deforestation and fires in the rainforest have surged.

Earlier this month, Germany and Norway cut a combined $72 million in funds after Bolsonaro said he would use part of the funds to give money to cattle and soy farmers.

Backlash over the fires has snowballed into Bolsonaro’s largest international and domestic crisis since taking office. Bolsonaro’s personal approval rating fell to 41 percent in August from 57.5 percent in February, according to a recent poll.

Seven Brazilian states have called on the army for help with the fires. On Saturday, the Defense Ministry announced 44,000 soldiers were ready to deploy to fight the fires in the Amazon, an area that spans 61 percent of the country, or over 3.2 million square miles.

marina.lopes@washpost.com

terrence.mccoy@washpost.com

McCoy reported from Rio de Janeiro

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G7 countries offered $20 million to combat fires in the Amazon. But it’s nowhere near enough to stop the deforestation.

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