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The Amazon burns and Twitter too. The presidents of France Emmanuel Macron and Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, clashed on this social network on Thursday by fires in the Amazon. The French president said he wants to talk about this "international crisis" at the G7 summit, while Bolsonaro accused him of having "a colonial mentality . "
The Elysee Palace responded and accused Bolsonaro of "lying" about his climate commitments. Paris announced that, under these conditions, France will oppose the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.
The clash between Macron and Bolsonaro began Thursday with a tweet from Macron. "Our house burns. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet that produces 20 percent of our oxygen , is on fire. It's an international crisis. Members of the G7, appointment in two days to talk about this urgency," he wrote Thursday on Macron Twitter, using the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon (Acts for the Amazon) and accompanied the text of a photograph of this rainforest in flames.
The French president is the host this weekend of the G7 summit , which will bring together leaders from Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom in the city of Biarritz from August 24 to 26, Southwest of the country.
Bolsonaro Macron's tweet sat on a burned horn because Brazil is not part of the G7 . The Brazilian president responded to Macron on Twitter: "I regret that President Macron seeks to instrumentalize an internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian countries to obtain personal political benefits ," said the Brazilian ultra-right-wing leader.
"The sensationalist tone with which he refers to the Amazon (using even fake photos) does not contribute anything to the solution of the problem," said Bolsonaro, who said his government is "open to dialogue" on that issue, but whenever be based on "objective facts and with mutual respect".
"The suggestion of the French president, that Amazon issues be discussed in the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region, evokes a colonial mentality that no longer takes place in the 21st century," the Brazilian president complained on Twitter.
Bolsonaro accused Macron of using a fake photo. The French president effectively used in his tweet a photograph of the Amazon that has been widely disseminated on social networks, but which is old , according to the "fact-checking" system of the French agency AFP . This photograph, which shows a spectacular fire in the Amazon, was taken by photographer Loren McIntyre , known for his work for the "National Geographic" magazine. The photo of Mcintyre, who died in May 2003, is at least 16 years ago.
The tension increased further on Friday. Macron accused Bolsonaro on Friday of "lying" about his climate commitments and announced that, under these conditions, France opposes the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur .
"Given the attitude of Brazil in recent weeks, the president of the Republic can not help but find that President Bolsonaro lied to him during the Osaka (G20) summit ," said the Elysium. All the countries of the G20 except the US ratified in June in Osaka (Japan) the Paris Agreement on the climate of 2015, including Brazil.
"The decisions and declarations of Brazil in recent weeks show well that President Bolsonaro has decided not to respect his commitments in terms of climate or commit to biodiversity," said sources from the French presidency. "Under these conditions, France will oppose the agreement with Mercosur."
The controversial free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur was adopted on June 28 after more than 20 years of negotiations , but had still been ratified. The French Government said a few days ago that before taking a decision on this issue, it was going to organize a public debate this fall to examine the pros and cons of the trade agreement.
Macron wants this weekend at the G7 summit to talk about the Amazon and climate change. However, the 32 NGOs that are part of the Climate Action Network, among which are Oxfam and Greenpeace, announced Friday that they will boycott the G7 summit by considering that the conditions of civil society participation are not adequate. These non-governmental organizations made this decision after the Elysee Palace limited the number of accreditations "to a historically low level" and decided to keep these NGOs "away from the summit."
Bolsonaro evaluates sending the Army to fight fires in the Amazon
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, announced this Friday that he is considering the possibility of sending the Army to help in the work of extinguishing the fires that are sweeping the Amazon and that have generated a wave of malaise worldwide.
In statements to the press when leaving the Palace of Alvorada, the president has specified that this issue will be addressed in a meeting with his ministers planned during the day. "We will do what is within our reach," he added, stressing that "the problem is resources."
Specifically, what the president considers is a guarantee and order operation (known as GLO) that can only be authorized by the head of state when traditional public security forces have been exhausted.
As explained by the official agency Brazil, these operations are limited in time and are aimed at preserving public order, the integrity of the population and guaranteeing the functioning of the institutions.
On the other hand, Bolsonaro has instructed all the ministries so that according to their competencies they adopt "the necessary measures in the fight against the outbreaks of fire in the Amazon region in order to preserve and defend the Amazonian flora, national heritage ", as published on Friday by the Official Gazette.
According to data from the Space Research Institute of Brazil (INPE) so far this year the fires have increased 83 percent over the same period of 2018. In 2019 this state agency has registered 72,843 fires, the highest number since it reached the previous record in 2013. Between August 15 and 20, satellites accounted for 9,500.
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