Hanover, Germany (dpa) – Germany‘s anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) rejected on Sunday any German involvement in the Syrian conflict and called for an anti-terror alliance with Russia.
A majority of AfD delegates at a party conference in the northern city of Hanover voted in favour of a resolution that condemned Germany‘s decision to send troops to offer support in the Syria‘s multi-sided civil war.
They called for the decision to be examined for its constitutionality and said it would increase the risk of a terrorist attack on Germany.
They also said that Syrian men who came as refugees to Germany should be sent back to Syria to fight Islamic State militants.
Earlier, the party passed a resolution calling for NATO to ally with Russia in the fight against the extremist group.
“We see Russia as a legitimate team-player in the coalition of powers and as an important partner in the common fight against Islamic terror,” the text of the resolution said.
Germany should also resume its diplomatic relations with Syria, broken off in 2012 after President Bashar al-Assad brutally crushed an opposition movement.
Party leaders said action against Russia weakened the coalition against terrorism, that all sanctions against Russia should be lifted, and that normal relations between Russia, NATO and the European Union resume.
Current tensions over Russia‘s annexation of Crimea should not stand in the way, according to the AfD.
The party also rejected any support for Turkey, “which is experiencing an increase in Islamization under the current government.”
A leading AfD member had earlier accused churches and unions of funding protests against the party.
“We will defend ourselves against this kind of political argument,” said Armin Paul Hampel, who leads the party in the northern German state of Lower Saxony, of which Hanover is the capital.
Referring to damaged party offices, Hampel said: “We will defend ourselves above all against the fact that many of these groups are not operating solo, but they are in fact in part being paid by unions and churches.”
According to Hampel, AfD members and offices have faced threats as the party‘s popularity grew.
“People are being persecuted, people are being threatened,” Hampel said.
In order to compile statistics about attacks on AfD members and offices, Hampel‘s branch of the party had set up a central recording office. He called on members to report all incidents so that they could be documented and processed.
Founded in 2012 to protest Germany‘s policies in support of the euro, AfD‘s rhetoric has turned increasingly anti-immigrant in recent months.
Germany‘s migration crisis has played to the advantage of the party, which has criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s open approach to border controls and seen its support rise as high as 10.5 per cent in a poll from research institute INSA.