Battle of the Presidents: Brazil's Bolsonaro to accept Amazon aid money if France's Macron apologises
The Presidential crowd is a tough one. Especially when they're all together in one room. But while the meeting of leaders at the G7 summit seems to have gone off without a hitch, things are not so good between Brazil and France right now.
Especially when you consider the already strained relationship between Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and the French Premier Emmanuel Macron.
It all started at the sidelines of the G7 summit in France last week when the French president, Macron, spoke out against the “extraordinarily rude” comments made about his wife, Brigitte, by the far-right Brazilian leader, Jair Bolsonaro.
“He has made some extraordinarily rude comments about my wife,” Macron said at a press conference at the G7 summit in Biarritz when asked to react to statements about him by the Brazilian government, the Guardian reports.
“What can I say? It’s sad. It’s sad for him firstly, and for Brazilians,” he added.
Pledging aid to the Amazon Macron said: “We respect your sovereignty. It’s your country,” Macron said. But the trees in the Amazon are “the lungs of the planet”, he added.
“The Amazon forest is a subject for the whole planet. We can help you reforest. We can find the means for your economic development that respects the natural balance. But we cannot allow you to destroy everything.”
So what exactly happened?
Bolsonaro personally responded to a social media user's post on his Facebook wall that compared France's 66-year-old first lady to Michelle Bolsonaro. "Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?" the man wrote.
The Brazilian president "liked" the comment and replied with "Do not humiliate the guy, ha ha."
Soon after, the G7 nations decide to pledge about $20 million to help fight the Amazon fires that was rejected by the Brazil government, and Bolsonaro told Macron to ‘take care of his home and his colonies instead’.
Even US President Donald Trump has come out in support of his Brazilian counterpart.
- Thank you, President @realDonaldTrump. We're fighting the wildfires with great success. Brazil is and will always be an international reference in sustainable development. The fake news campaign built against our sovereignty will not work. The US can always count on Brazil. https://t.co/ZicUKsYGcx— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) August 27, 2019
Brazil's reasoning for rejected aid offer
Rejecting the offer, Bolsonaro's chief of staff Onyx Lorenzoni said to Brazilian media: "Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in [Notre Dame]. What does he intend to teach our country?"
"Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron," Lorenzoni said.
Since then however, Bolsonaro has said that he will accept the offer of international aid if Macron withdraws the insults against him.
The world is right now hoping the two leaders can resolve their differences and deal with the pressing problem at hand.
Today Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says French President Macron must retract comments he found offensive 'then we can speak' about the G7's offer of aid.
Really? Make up already & get these wildfires under control in the Amazon!#AmazonRainforest pic.twitter.com/1hlWQ6FOBy— ~Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) August 28, 2019