Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be skipping a regional summit on the fires that have been raging in the Amazon due to a surgery he has scheduled for next week, AFP reports.
Bolsonaro’s spokesman reportedly said the president’s doctors want him to get ready for the procedure, his third surgery since he was stabbed in the abdomen at a campaign rally last year.
The fires in the Amazon—which have so far consumed a reported 4.6 million acres—have made international headlines, and caused the Brazilian government and French President Emmanuel Macron to publicly butt heads. However, Bolsonaro said on Monday that he would like to speak “with patriotism” about the Amazon fires at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in mid-September.
“I will not accept alms from any country in the world under the pretext of preserving the Amazon when it is being divided into lots and sold,” Bolsonaro told Brazilian media, according to the Associated Press.