Brazil Rejects Millions in Amazon Aid Pledge

Brazil will reject the offer of $20 million in aid for the Amazon fires pledged at the G7 summit in France unless France’s president apologizes for calling Brazil’s president a liar.

According to Brazilian news website G1, Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said “We are thankful, but maybe those resources would be more relevant to reforest Europe.”

The decision to reject the aid is confirmed by Brazil’s communication office to several news organizations including Agence France Presse and CNN, though it did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Tuesday.

The blazes in the Amazon have caused a dispute between Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been vocal about the need for an international response to the fires. Last week, Macron, President of France, called Bolsonaro a liar over his pledge in June to fight global warming.

According to France 24, a French presidential official said that from the attitude of Brazil over the last weeks, the president can only conclude that President Bolsonaro lied to him at the Osaka (G20) summit.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro smacked out at Macron and claimed France was questioning Brazil’s sovereignty. Infact, according to The Associated Press, Bolsonaro said if Macron apologizes for his criticisms, “then we can speak.”

Bolsonaro has accused Macron on social media of only pretending to want to save the Amazon while really wanting to control it as a “colony.” He has also criticized Macron’s wife, in a personal attack. Infact on Tuesday, when asked by reporters whether he would apologize to Macron’s wife he denied offending her.

President Donald Trump also expressed his support of Bolsonaro on Twitter. He tweeted, “He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil – Not easy. He and his country have the full and complete support of the USA!”

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