Brazil: Protecting environment not only European 'interest'

President Donald Trump, left, meets with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, left, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil's foreign minister says protecting the environment "is not only a European interest" after France said it will ratify a free-trade deal between the European Union and the South American bloc Mercosur only if Brazil respects its commitment to reduce deforestation.

The EU and Mercosur last Friday finalized an agreement that would integrate the blocs into a market of 800 million people. But the deal must still be ratified by the legislatures of the countries involved.

The French government said Tuesday that it was yet not ready to ratify the pact, saying Brazil must "respect its commitments" to protecting its rainforest.

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