France’s Populist Le Pen Meets With Lebanon President, PM In Run Up To Election

BEIRUT (AP) — French populist-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has met with the president of Lebanon, saying their two countries should be “pillars” in organizing the fight against Islamic fundamentalism.

After the half-hour meeting on Monday with Michel Aoun, Le Pen said she also discussed the costs of housing refugees.

Le Pen’s National Front party claims Muslim immigration to France boosts terror risks, costs jobs and drains the nation’s treasury. Le Pen, a leader in opinion polls ahead of the April 23 and May 7 voting, was using her two-day visit to the former French protectorate — and her unusual encounter with a foreign president — to push her top themes.

She was also meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai, among others.

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