Brazil's neighbours call for meeting and Amazon pact as fires rage
By Maria Cervantes LIMA (Reuters) - Peru and Colombia called on Tuesday on fellow Amazonian countries to attend a presidential meeting next month on the forest fires raging in Brazil and Bolivia and to forge a pact to protect the world's largest tropical forest. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the Amazonian region of Leticia in Colombia on Sept
By Maria Cervantes
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru and Colombia called on Tuesday on fellow Amazonian countries to attend a presidential meeting next month on the forest fires raging in Brazil and Bolivia and to forge a pact to protect the world's largest tropical forest.
The meeting is scheduled to take place in the Amazonian region of Leticia in Colombia on Sept. 6, the two countries said in a statement after Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and Colombian President Ivan Duque met.
"We have to raise our voice to a presidential level and make a pact where we all coordinate our actions to protect our Amazon," Duque told a news conference in the Amazonian city of Pucallpa in Peru.
Vizcarra said the meeting would seek to commit countries to a common plan for protecting the rainforest in the Amazon basin, which is shared by Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana and Suriname.
"It shouldn't just be a reactive policy due to the emergency that neighbouring countries are facing with these fires. Rather it should have a long-term view on how to avoid deforestation," Vizcarra said alongside Duque.
The fires in Brazil have created a major crisis for the far-right government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who is losing popularity at home and finding himself isolated on the global stage over his response to blazes that threaten what many view as a key bulwark against global climate change.
Duque called the fires in Brazil "worrisome" but added that people around the world need to become more aware of how they contribute to climate change.
The fires are not limited to Brazil, with at least 10,000 square km (about 3,800 square miles) burning in Bolivia, near its border with Paraguay and Brazil.
Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales called for an emergency meeting of Amazonian countries on Friday, but said "some countries" had shown a lack of interest for ideological reasons.
(Reporting By Maria Cervantes, Writing By Mitra Taj; Editing by Alistair Bell)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.