Beirut (CNN)France’s Marine Le Pen canceled a meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Tuesday after refusing to wear a headscarf.
The far-right presidential candidate is on a two-day tour of Lebanon where she is courting Franco-Lebanese votes ahead of the first round of French elections on April 23.
Le Pen told reporters that she was surprised by the requirement. But a spokesman for the Grand Mufti said Le Pen had been informed of the need to wear a head covering before the meeting.
Le Pen said she had met the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar during a visit to Egypt in 2015 without covering her head.
“I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar,” she told reporters. “The highest Sunni authority didn’t have this requirement, but it doesn’t matter.”
“You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up,” she insisted.
Le Pen has been outspoken in her opposition to the headscarf and has stated that she would ban all religious symbols in public places.