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Turkey says warned France about Lafarge support of terrorist groups

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday he warned France about the cement company Lafarge’s ties to terrorist groups in northern Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.

“When I explained how cement giant Lafarge supported terrorist organizations in northern Syria … the French did not understand,” he said.

Erdoğan said he had also informed French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I told Macron as well. It’s the most important issue on France’s agenda at the moment,” he said.

“Lafarge has emerged as one of the most important institutions supporting terrorism.”

Lafarge pleaded guilty in a US court Tuesday to paying millions of dollars to the Islamic State group and other jihadists in war-torn Syria between 2013 and 2014 and agreed to a $778 million fine over conspiring to provide material support to US-designated “foreign terrorist organizations.”

The US Justice Department said company executives, including former chief Bruno Lafont, knew of the arrangement with the jihadists.

Lafarge now faces the possibility of the introduction of evidence from the US prosecution into a separate French case over similar charges.

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