July 20, 2017

Marine Le Pen's visit to Lebanon draws polarized reactions

23 February 2017, 12:52 | Ignacio Smith

Marine Le Pen's visit to Lebanon draws polarized reactions

Marine Le Pen's visit to Lebanon draws polarized reactions

According to Le Pen, "Assad seems credible and he is the preferable choice for France".

"They did not cancel the meeting, so I thought they would accept that I will not wear the scarf", Le Pen said.

Eléonore Vidal, 28, a NGO project manager from Wandsworth, said she initially liked "serious and honest" Mr Fillon but is now reconsidering her vote. "The highest Sunni authority didn't have this requirement, but it doesn't matter".

In the second round, Mr Macron would beat Ms Le Pen by 61% to 39%, while Mr Fillon would also defeat the far-right candidate, but by 57% to 43%.

Ms. Le Pen, who is on a three-day tour of Lebanon to court Franco-Lebanese voters ahead of the French elections, has been outspoken critic of religious coverings in public.

"Everything indicates so", Ms Le Pen said.

Marine Le Pen's visit to Lebanon draws polarized reactions

"The mufti's office regrets this inappropriate behaviour in such meetings".

She also took a stance on the Syrian civil war diametrically opposed to that of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. His has drawn support away from the struggling French Socialist Party by positioning himself as the only candidate who is able to transcend the left-right divide and successfully defeat the far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen.

Le Pen was scheduled to meet Sheikh Abdellatif Deriane, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, in his office in Beirut on Tuesday, February 21.

"I note that when Marine Le Pen refuses to don the headscarf, it is criticized, but when Michelle Obama refused to do it in Saudi Arabia, it was considered admirable", she said, soliciting applause from the accompanying delegation.

After meeting Hariri on Monday, Le Pen went against current French policy in Syria by describing President Bashar al-Assad as the "only viable solution" for preventing Islamic State from taking power in Syria. "I have made a decision to offer Emmanuel Macron an alliance". The Opinionway survey had her easily beating her four main rivals to win the April 23 first round with 27 percent of the vote. She replaced her father as president in 2011.

Le Pen said during her meeting with the Lebanese president that the two countries should be "pillars" in organizing the fight against Islamic fundamentalism.

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