Brazil may reject financial aid that world leaders at the G-7 summit in France have just pledged to fight the raging wildfires in the Amazon countries.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, told the G1 news website, “We appreciate [the offer], but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” U.K.-based Independent quoting the website reported.
The rejection comes after French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday, Aug. 26, that the G-7 leaders committed to donate at least $20 million to fight the Amazon wildfires that are threatening the world’s biggest rainforest, and said the funds would be immediately released.
Brazil’s environment minister initially welcomed the offer from the G-7 as well as two other separate funds from the UK and Canada.
According to Reuters, Brazilian and French presidents had become embroiled in a war of words in recent days, with Bolsonaro mocking Macron’s wife on social media and accusing the French leader of disrespecting Brazil’s sovereignty.
Speaking to reporters in Brasilia on Tuesday, Bolsonaro said he would only respond to the offer of financial aid once Macron took back his insults of him.
“First of all, Macron has to withdraw his insults. He called me a liar. Before we talk or accept anything from France … he must withdraw these words then we can talk,” Bolsonaro said. “First he withdraws, then offers (aid), then I will answer.”
In response, Macron said that Bolsonaro’s interpretation is a “mistake.”
The Associated Press citing the French president said the aid is not just aimed at Brazil but at nine countries in the Amazon region, including Colombia and Bolivia. France to considers itself an Amazon country via its overseas region of French Guiana.