Quebec Premier Pauline Marois received a ringing endorsement from the leader of the country that inspired the province's proposed legislation to ban religious symbols from the public sector.

French President François Hollande said his country's strict and long-standing adherence to the separation of church and state has allowed French residents from all different backgrounds to get along.

"Secularism is a principle that allows us to live together and, of course, to respect each others convictions and religions," Hollande said following a meeting with Marois at the French Presidential Palace, according to La Presse.

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