A Tunisian woman wearing a "burkini" a full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women, walks in the water with a child on August 16, 2016. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID

France’s prime minister is expressing support for local bans of burkini swimsuits, saying the swimwear is based on the “enslavement of women” and therefore not compatible with French values.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls gestures as he delivers a speech during a visit at the French Gendarmerie school of Richemont in Montlucon, central France on August 11, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on August 11, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES

However, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday in the La Provence newspaper that he’s not in favor of a national law against them.

Three French Mediterranean towns have banned the burkini, citing security concerns after a summer marred by extremist attacks. Critics say the bans are discriminatory.

A "burkini" full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women is seen on a mannequin at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on August 16, 2016. The French resort of Cannes won court backing for its "burkini ban" on August 13, as a judge refused to overturn its decision to forbid Muslim women from wearing the full-body swimsuit. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN
A “burkini” full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women is seen on a mannequin at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on August 16, 2016. The French resort of Cannes won court backing for its “burkini ban” on August 13, as a judge refused to overturn its decision to forbid Muslim women from wearing the full-body swimsuit. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

Valls said the swimwear represents a “provocation” and an “archaic vision” that women are “immodest, impure and that they should therefore be totally covered.” The Socialist premier also warned that the far-right is profiting from the burkini tensions.

Burkinis, which cover the head and body, are very rare in France.

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