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Trump administration didn’t agree to G7 financial aid for Amazon fires

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The Trump administration did not agree to the $20 million financial aid package discussed at the G7 summit to help Brazil battle wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest, a National Security Council spokesman said Wednesday.

NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis wrote in a statement on Twitter Wednesday that discussions surrounding the emergency aid package failed to include Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Nonetheless, “the US stands ready to assist Brazil in efforts to combat fires in the Amazon,” he wrote.

“We didn’t agree to a G7 initiative that failed to include consultations with [Bolsonaro],” Marquis wrote. “The most constructive way to assist with Brazil’s ongoing efforts is in coordination with the Brazilian [government].”

He added in a separate tweet, “The United States has a strong history of meaningful engagement in Brazil on conservation, forestry, and biodiversity, including the $80 million Partnership for Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity.”

The statement echoed a similar sentiment from the president last week, who tweeted that he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and told him the US stands “ready to assist” with the Amazon wildfires.

Read more: Trump volunteers US to ‘help’ with fires in the Amazon after conversation with Brazil President Bolsonaro, who has been slow to fight them

France’s President Emmanuel Macron (R) and US President Donald Trump shake hands during a joint-press conference in Biarritz, south-west France on August 26, 2019,
Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Trump was not present for the session regarding biodiversity and climate on Monday at the G7 summit due to scheduling conflicts, but Macron said that “his team” attended the meeting, The New York Times reported.

“He wasn’t in the room, but his team was,” Macron told The Times. “You shouldn’t read anything into the American president’s absence… The United States is with us on biodiversity and on the Amazon initiative.”

French President Emmanuel Macron announced at the G7 summit hosted in Biarritz, France, this weekend that it was offering $20 million in emergency aid to Brazil, amid tensions between him and Bolsonaro.

The Brazilian president initially did not accept the financial aid package, calling it “colonialist and imperialist,” but walked back on the rejection on the condition that Macron apologize for saying Bolsonaro was “extraordinarily rude.”

The White House did not immediately respond to emails from Business Insider for comment.

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