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Bolsonaro open to discussing Amazon fires at UN after refusing assistance

WATCH: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro may have drawn sharp criticism on the international stage for his handling of the wildfires raging in the Amazon, but at home the crisis may have fueled his government's popularity

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.”

READ MORE: Forget oxygen — the Amazon’s destruction could threaten rain and food growing: experts

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio 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.

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