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Brazilian president defends policies amid recent Amazon fires

Jair Bolsonaro spoke to the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (AP)
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Brazil’s president has launched a strong defence of his far-right government while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, blasting any criticism of his policies on recent fires in the Amazon region.

Jair Bolsonaro also criticised French president Emmanuel Macron in a speech on Wednesday before the Future Investment Initiative in the kingdom, while praising American leader Donald Trump.

Mr Bolsonaro at one point said: “The Amazon region belongs to us.”

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Mr Bolsonaro praised US president Donald Trump (AP)

Scientists say the vast rainforest is a bulwark against global warming as its lush vegetation absorbs heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The moisture given off by its trees also affects rainfall patterns and climate across South America and beyond.

International outcry earlier this year led Mr Bolsonaro to ban Amazon farmers from lighting fires for 60 days and send federal troops to help combat the blazes.

PA

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