Brazil’s Bolsonaro refutes French president’s stance on Amazon fires
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 23 -- Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday evening that the French president's call to bring the Amazon fire topic to the G7 summit will not help but only aims to blame Brazil. "Some countries are taking advantage of the moment to increase their criticism of Brazil in order to damage agribusiness and our economy," Bolsonaro said on Twitter and his weekly Facebook live video. "I am sorry that President (Emmanuel) Macron is using an internal matter of Brazil and other countries in the Amazon region for personal political gains. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to help," Bolsonaro said. The Brazilian president said the photo Macron used on his Twitter post is fake, adding that Brazil is working to mitigate the problem. Earlier in the day, Macron used his Twitter to qualify the Amazon forest fires as an international crisis and called the G7 countries to discuss the matter on the upcoming meeting of the group in the French coastal city of Biarritz. Besides blaming the non-governmental organizations and indigenous groups for setting the fires in a way to bargain with the government, Bolsonaro also noted the possibility that farmers are behind the worrisome fires and warned them about the consequences, saying that is not the way to increase farming areas. Bolsonaro compared the fires in the Amazon rainforest to the Camp fire in California, the United States, which resulted in at least 85 civilian fatalities and over 18,000 damaged structures in 18 days in November 2018. The wildfires in the Amazon rainforest have raised worldwide concerns. According to the satellite data provided by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, this year, the wildfire area in the country increased by over 80 percent from a year ago.