Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said French nationals will have to give up joint citizenship, singling out Israel as an example of one such country the measures would include, if she comes to power.

Speaking to France 2 Television on Thursday (9 February) Le Pen, who is leading polls but is unlikely to be voted president in a knockout round, said under a National Front (FN) presidency French citizens would have to renounce dual citizenship for countries outside of Europe.

Le Pen said in response to a specific question from a reporter that special allowances would not be made for French Jews holding Israeli passports. "I'm asking the Israelis to choose their nationality. It doesn't mean that if they don't choose French nationality, they have to leave" she said.

However, Le Pen said dual citizenship with Russia would be allowed. The FN leader said her world outlook places Russia within the Europe. Le Pen has said if she becomes President she will also look to remove France from the European Union.

Le Pen said the policy of ending dual citizenship was not xenophobic and would not lead to the expulsion of foreign nationals "as long as they respect French laws and values".

The FN has struggled to shake off accusations of anti-Semitism despite Marine Le Pen's work to modernise the party. Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party's previous head, was fined in 2016 for charges relating to holocaust denial.

According to AP, in a previous interview with the same channel, Marine Le Pen suggested France's Jewish community should refrain from wearing religious clothing or symbols in an effort to combat Islamic extremism.