French far-right leader Marine Le Pen refuses to wear headscarf to meet Lebanon's Grand Mufti

Lebanese Governor of Beirut Ziad Shabib (right) shakes hands with the leader of France's far-right Front National political party and candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections Marine Le Pen during a meeting at the Beirut governorate buildi
Lebanese Governor of Beirut Ziad Shabib (right) shakes hands with the leader of France's far-right Front National political party and candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections Marine Le Pen during a meeting at the Beirut governorate building in Beirut, Lebanon, Feb 20, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Marine Le Pen, presidential candidate for France's far-right National Front party, cancelled a meeting on Tuesday (Feb 21)with Lebanon's Grand Mufti after refusing to wear a headscarf for the encounter.

"You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up," Le Pen told reporters.

The press office for the Grand Mufti said that Le Pen's aides had been informed beforehand of their requirement for her to wear head covering for the meeting.

Le Pen has been visiting Lebanon as she seeks to bolster her presidential credentials.

Opinion polls say Le Pen is likely to get the highest score in the first round of voting in April, but then lose to a mainstream candidate in the decisive second round vote in May.