President Emmanuel Macron said Group of Seven leaders gathering in Biarritz, France, Saturday should discuss the fires in the Amazon jungle, labeling the blaze an emergency of the “first order.”
His Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro took exception, saying discussing the issue without his involvement showed a “colonial mentality that isn’t appropriate for the 21st century.”
“I regret that President Macron is seeking to use the internal matters of Brazil and other Amazon countries for political gain,” Bolsonaro said in a tweet.
The Brazilian rain forest is suffering a record number of fires this year with data from the National Institute of Space Research showed an 84% year-on-year and the government in Brasilia has become increasingly sensitive to international concern about the issue.
“Our house is burning. Literally,” Macron said in a tweet late Thursday. “It is an international crisis.”