14:01 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil September 3, 2019

    Brazilian President Bolsonaro Blames UN Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet for Macron-Style 'Interference'

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    Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron intensified his criticism of the environmental policies of his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, and threatened to block the long-awaited EU-Mercosur free trade deal.

    Bolsonaro has accused UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, of "meddling in the sovereign internal affairs" of his country, in a tweet accompanied by a photo where the former Chilean president is captured along with former Argentinian President Cristina Fernández and former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

    "Michelle Bachelet, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, following Macron's line in meddling in domestic affairs and Brazilian sovereignty, attacks Brazil on the (bandit) human rights agenda, attacking our valiant civil and military police", he said in a tweet.

    The statement comes amid Bolsonaro’s spat with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who the Brazilian leader accused of having colonialist ambitions. Bolsonaro has also made fun of Macron’s wife on social media and claimed that Europe wanted the Amazon's resources for itself. Macron, for his part, has criticized Bolsonaro for failing to meet commitments to fight climate change.

    The Amazon rainforest in Brazil and neighbouring states have been facing a record number of fires for several weeks. Environmentalists have reportedly accused "pro-business Bolsonaro" of encouraging farmers, miners, and loggers to set fires in an effort to unlock natural reserves.

    Tags:
    Emmanuel Macron, Michelle Bachelet, UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), Brazil
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