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Brazil's Bolsonaro wants to discuss Amazon fires at UN

Smoke rises from a rainforest in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday that Latin America's Amazon countries will meet in September to discuss both protecting and developing the rainforest region, which has been hit by weeks of devastating fires.(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he wants to discuss the Amazon fires that have drawn world attention at the next U.N. General Assembly in September.

Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia Monday that he wanted to speak “with patriotism” about the Amazon, a region he said was ignored by previous administrations and “practically sold to the world.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres suggested last week holding a meeting to address specifically the fires that have engulfed part of Brazil’s rainforest.

The Brazilian Amazon saw 30,901 fires in August, the highest for the month since 2010, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research.

In a statement published Monday, Amnesty International said if authorities do not prosecute those responsible for illegal fires, the situation will worsen during the coming years under Bolsonaro.

The Associated Press