- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron irritated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Thursday by calling the raging Amazon wildfires an “international crisis,” deeming it an issue to be addressed at the Group of Seven Summit in Biarritz, France, this weekend.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest - the lungs of our planet which produces 20% of our oxygen - is on fire,” Mr. Macron tweeted. “It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon.” 

Mr. Macron’s tweet angered Mr. Bolsonaro, who accused the French president of using a “colonial mindset” for “political gain.” 

“I regret that President Macron is seeking to instrumentalize an internal issue in Brazil and in other Amazonian countries for personal political gains,” Mr. Bolsonaro tweeted. “The suggestion of the French president that Amazonian issues be discussed in the G7 without countries in the region participating is reminiscent of a colonial mindset inappropriate in the 21st century.”

Brazil’s space research center reported this week fires in the Amazon this year have risen by 80% and that more than 99% of those blazes are caused by humans.

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