CAO PAULO, Brazil – The President of Brazil appeared on Tuesday to cancel the initial rejection of a $ 22.2 million package by the Group of Seven States to help combat fires moving through the Amazon rainforest.
But President Jair Bolsonaro said any consideration of the aid remains tied to his dispute with President Emmanuel Macron – even when officials in the fire-affected regions spoke directly with other countries for assistance, if necessary.
Bolsanaro said he would not make a final decision until Macron apologized for remarks that Bolsararo considered it a challenge for his credibility and attack against Brazil's sovereignty.
"Before speaking or accepting anything from France, even if it comes from the best of intentions, he must withdraw his words. Then we can talk, "he told reporters.
The comments are the latest escalation of the feud between the two presidents as the world's most valuable rainforest burns.
Macron threatened last week to block a free trade agreement between The European Union and Latin America, saying that Bolsanaro lied to him about his commitment to the environment.In the weekend, Bolsonsaro seems to be mocking the appearance of the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Brazil said he would reject the proposed here for help, as it was not involved in the decision-making process, the ambassador of the country to France told national television earlier on Tuesday.
Bolsonsaro – a skeptical climate customer – questioned the Colonial Mentality Group. 19659010] "We cannot accept that President Macron is issuing inappropriate and gratuitous attacks against the Amazon," he tweeted. "Nor is he concealing his intentions behind the G7" alliance "to" save "the Amazon, as if it were a colony or no man's land. "
But the Bolsonaro administration seems It split on whether to accept the money.
On Monday, Brazil's environment minister said he welcomed the assistance. "I think we need to put together as many tools as possible to resolve this," he told Brazilian television on Monday. Amazon officials have said they are ready to bypass the federal government of Brazil and negotiate directly with Europe, if necessary.
"We cannot run out of these resources," Governor Wilson Lima told the local Folha de Sao Paulo on Monday.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo urged European countries to channel aid through the UN Climate Convention instead of launching new initiatives.
"It is very clear that some political channels are trying to extrapolate real environmental problems and use them in a fictional 'crisis' as a pretext to introduce mechanisms for external control over the Amazon," .
Bolsonaro is campaigning to open Amazon for business and development. Since taking office in January, deforestation and tropical forest fires have accelerated.
Earlier this month, Germany and Norway cut a total of $ 72 million after Bolsonro said he would use part of the money to raise livestock and soybeans.
The wildfire has become the largest international and domestic crisis of Bolsonro since he took office. The personal approval rating of Bolsonaro dropped to 41 percent in August from 57.5 percent in February, according to a recent poll.
Seven Brazilian states call on the army for assistance in fires. On Saturday, the Department of Defense announced that 44,000 troops are ready to deploy to the fires in the Amazon, an area that covers 61 percent of the country or more than 3.2 million square miles.
McCoy reports from Rio de Janeiro