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Amazon fires: G7 leaders close to agreeing plan to help, says Macron

france SONNA International leaders gathering at the G7 summit are reportedly nearing an agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday a deal to provide technical and financial help was close.

Leaders from the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Canada continue their meeting in the seaside town of Biarritz on Monday.

It comes amid international tension over record fires burning in Brazil.

Critics have accused Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, of green lighting the Amazon's destruction through anti-environmental rhetoric and a lack of action on deforestation violations.

The severity of the fires, and his government's response, has prompted global outcry and protests.

President Macron last week described the fires as an international crisis and pushed for them to be prioritised at the G7 summit this weekend.

On Sunday he said the leaders are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible.

Our teams are making contact with all the Amazon countries so we can finalise some very concrete commitments involving technical resources and funding.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would provide Pound 10m to protect the Amazon rainforest.

On Friday, facing mounting pressure from abroad, President Bolsonaro authorised the military to help tackle the blazes.

The Defence Ministry has said that 44,000 troops are available to help in the effort and officials said on Sunday that military intervention has been authorised in seven states.

Warplanes have also been drafted in to dump water on the areas affected.

The president tweeted on Sunday that he had also accepted an offer of support from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Bolsonaro has previously been critical of the response of foreign governments and accused them of interfering in Brazil's national sovereignty.

Announcing the military help in a television address on Friday, President Bolsonaro insisted forest fires exist in the whole world and said they cannot serve as a pretext for possible international sanctions.

On Saturday, EU Council president Donald Tusk admitted it was hard to imagine the bloc ratifying the long-awaited EU-Mercosur agreement � a landmark trade deal with South American nations � while Brazil was still failing to curb the blazes.

As criticism mounted again last week, Finland's finance minister went as far as calling for the EU to consider banning Brazilian beef imports altogether.

Source: Somali National News Agency

https://sonna.so/en/2019/08/26/amazon-fires-g7-leaders-close-to-agreeing-plan-to-help-says-macron/