France's far-right presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, visited Lebanon on Sunday and Monday, drawing mixed and polarizing reactions from the Lebanese.
Prior to her arrival, hundreds of Lebanese signed a petition against the visit. Others tweeted their love and support for the far-right candidate.
The visit marked the National Front leader's first official meeting with a foreign head of state. She was received by Lebanon's President Michel Aoun, who spent 15 years living in exile in France, and also met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Many have said Le Pen made the visit in an effort to shore up international exposure in the lead up to the election.
There are thousands of French citizens residing in Lebanon.
Le Pen has positioned herself as anti-immigration, anti-EU, pro-President Bashar Assad in Syria and is known for Islamophobic statements. She currently is favored to win the first round of voting in the French election later this year, but is not expected to win in the run-off. The far-right candidate is also currently under investigation for misusing EU funds to pay for her political party's staff.
Emmanuel Macron, an independent candidate in France's presidential election, also visited Lebanon in January, meeting with Aoun and Hariri.
On Twitter, the Lebanese shared their opinions about the controversial French politician.
Some Lebanese just want her to get out
Others are only tweeting their love ... in French patriotic glory
Some fear a Le Pen victory later this year
But a lot of Lebanese are, let's say, overly enthusiastic as well
"Already Lebanese have created a page for Marine Le Pen."
And many just want Le Pen to know she is very welcome
"Marine Le Pen in my country! It is the best thing that could arrive for us. You are surely welcome!!"
"You are welcome!"
And some are swearing Lebanon's allegiance, more or less
"We are all at your side!"
Many just want to know if Le Pen's supporters actually understand her policies
Le Pen has voiced her strong support for U.S. President Donald Trump. Many critics and supporters have referred to Le Pen as "France's Trump" as well.
Trump has polarized the Lebanese in a similar way. Although many strongly oppose the new U.S. president and his xenophobic policies, others have started a fan page on Facebook to support him.
They have even defended his attempts to ban refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries, despite rumors that other countries – such as Lebanon – could soon be added to the list.