The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, will take part in a video call in a regional summit on the devastating Amazon rainforest fires, a Bolsonaro spokesperson said on Tuesday September 3rd, after previously stating that he would skip it altogether.
Bolsonaro, strongly criticised for his support for Amazon deforestation and a delayed reaction to the wildfires, had announced earlier this week that he will not be present at Friday September 6th's session in Colombia, due to preparations for a surgical operation.
Bolsonaro's surgery, to be performed in Sao Paulo on Sunday September 8th, is to correct an incisional hernia, his fourth operation since he was stabbed nearly a year ago during the presidential campaign. According to doctors, he will need ten days' rest following the operation.
The president had vowed on Monday September 2nd to defend his controversial Amazon policy at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 24th, even if he had to do so "in a wheelchair".
"I will appear before the UN even in a wheelchair, on a stretcher. I will appear because I want to talk about the Amazon," Bolsonaro told reporters outside his official residence in Brasilia.
The Brazilian president, in a response to the criticism of his policy, has accused France and Germany of attempting to buy Brazil's sovereignty after the G7 leaders offered to pay 20 million dollars in Amazon fire aid.
He also encouraged Brazilian citizens to wear the country's colours (green and yellow) during Independence Day celebrations this Saturday to assert their country’s claim to the Amazon region.