- Title: Brazilians support Bolsonaro after Macron's 'offence' - foreign minister
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (AUGUST 28, 2019) (REUTERS) FOREIGN MINISTER ERNESTO ARAUJO ARRIVING FOR REUTERS INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZIL FOREIGN MINISTER ERNESTO ARAUJO, SAYING: "We want people to look at the data, to compare the data for the fires this year with that of the last 20 years. We are actually a little below average. We are making an effort with the fires that has never been done before. Hopefully this is acknowledged because people are legitimately concerned about the environment, but Brazil is the hero of the environment."
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 23:48
- Keywords: France Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo insult Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro President Emmanuel Macron fires offence Amazon
- Location: RIO DE JANEIRO + BRASILIA + PARA, BRAZIL
- City: RIO DE JANEIRO + BRASILIA + PARA, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU4WM6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:French President Emmanuel Macron offended his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday (August 28), adding he believed Brazilians support their far-right leader in his spat with Paris.
The sharp jump in the number of fires in the Amazon rainforest, which have contributed to climate change by emitting carbon into the atmosphere, has created a lurching international crisis for Bolsonaro. It risks undermining his efforts to ignite long-lagging lagging growth in Brazil and better integrate Latin America's No. 1 economy into global commerce.
As international outrage over the fires has escalated, Bolsonaro, a nationalist former army captain, has chafed at what he views as foreign interference on domestic issues. He waded into a particularly nasty spat with Macron, who led criticisms of Brazil's environmental practices at the recent Group of Seven wealthy nations summit.
Bolsonaro mocked Macron's wife and accused him of disrespecting Brazil's sovereignty. Macron called Bolsonaro a liar, adding Brazilian women were "probably ashamed" of him.
In an interview with Reuters in Rio de Janeiro about the Amazon fires, Ernesto Araujo said he believed Brazilians supported their president in his fight with France's leader.
On Wednesday (September 4), Bolsonaro said South American countries would meet to determine a common policy in defence of the Amazon, and took another swipe at France for an offer of $20 million in aid.
In an indication that Bolsonaro is forging closer ties with neighbouring countries than European nations, he also accepted Chile's offer of four aircraft to help fight the fires.
Araujo said the world had a distorted view of his government's environmental policies, and that Brazil is fighting forest fires like never before.
Ultimately, he hoped Brazil's actions would change minds.
(Production: Douglas Engle, Pablo Garcia, Thales Carneiro)
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