France's Le Pen refuses headscarf to meet Lebanon's mufti

22 Февраля, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Valerie Burke

"You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up", Le Pen said, according to Reuters.

Shunned by European leaders over her party's stance on immigration and its anti-EU message, Le Pen aimed to boost her global credibility with her first visit to a foreign head of state, President Michel Aoun.

When Le Pen came to the meeting on Tuesday, Derian's aid attempted to give her a headscarf but she refused to cover herself up, saying that the necessity to wear a head covering was imposed on her as a "fait accompli". "We had a very substantial talk", Le Pen told reporters.

Le Pen polled at 28 per cent, up two points on the same poll in early February.

Le Pen, of the far-right National Front, is anti-immigration and anti-European Union, while Fillon is the conservative Republicans candidate who is pushing for closer ties with Moscow.

"France and Lebanon have been bound by friendship and partnership for many years but we need to strengthen bilateral relations".

A new poll shows French far-right politician Marine Le Pen gaining against rivals Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon, though still falling short of winning the presidency.

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During the meeting, Hariri, leader of the country's Sunni Muslims, called upon the West "not to equate Islam and terrorism".

Le Pen, the most divisive candidate standing in the Presidential election, saw polls for voting intentions in the second and final round of the race narrow. Its Christians have long looked to France for security against the Middle East's turmoil.

"If [you don't like it] never mind", she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country will hold a general election in September, has also voiced fears that Moscow could try to influence the vote through cyberattacks or disinformation.

Three other FN members of the European parliament, including Le Pen's father and party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, have been ordered by the European court to reimburse about €600,000 of allegedly misused funds.

The FN leader also met Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

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