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Brazil's President Rejects G7 Leaders' Aid Offer To Fight Amazon Fires

Updated

An aerial view of a forest fire in the Amazon on August 23

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations on August 26 agreed to provide logistical and financial support to help fight the fires currently ravaging the Amazon rain forest, but Brazil's populist president rejected the plan as colonialist. ​

French President Emmanuel Macron said on August 26 that Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States would release $22 million and that the funds would be made available "immediately."

The agreement came as the G7 leaders continued to meet in the southwestern French coastal resort of Biarritz.

Macron said that France itself is ready to provide military aid in firefighting within hours.

G7 countries will also back a broader initiative for the Amazon region to be presented at the UN General Assembly in September, the French president said.

Brazil's far-right populist President Jair Bolsonaro rejected the initiative, saying on Twitter that it meant Brazil would be treated like "a colony or no man's land," and calling it an attack on the country's sovereignty.

A record number of fires are hitting the South American rainforest, many of them in Brazil, prompting international concern because of the Amazon's importance to the global environment.

Critics have accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of "green-lighting" the Amazon's destruction through anti-environmental rhetoric and a lack of action on deforestation violations.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and the BBC
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