French President Emmanuel Macron is shrugging off Brazil's rejection of international aid to fight Amazon wildfires, saying the money is aimed at nine countries in the region and is a sign of friendship — not "aggressiveness."
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says Brazil will only accept an offer of international aid to fight Amazon fires if French leader Emmanuel Macron retracts comments that he finds offensive.
Bolsonaro on Tuesday said Macron had called him a liar and he accused the French president of questioning Brazil's sovereignty amid tensions over fires sweeping the Amazon region.
Bolsonaro says Macron has to retract some of his comments "and then we can speak."
Macron has questioned Bolsonaro's trustworthiness and commitment to protecting biodiversity.
The Group of Seven nations has pledged $20 million to help fight the flames in the Amazon and protect the rainforest, in addition to a separate $12 million from Britain and $11 million from Canada.
According to the Washington Post, Luis Fernando Serra, the Brazil's ambassador to France, told French national television Tuesday that the country would "refuse aid because we see interference. [It's] help we did not ask for."
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says a G-7 agreement on fighting the Amazon fires treats the region like a colony.
In a diplomatic speech Tuesday, Macron called that interpretation a "mistake." He said, "We would happily accept international solidarity, it's a sign of friendship."
He said the money isn't just aimed at Brazil but at nine countries in the Amazon region, including Colombia and Bolivia. France too considers itself an Amazon country via its overseas region of French Guiana.