In a surprising move, German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her party's conference Tuesday morning called for a ban on full-face veils in the country.
"The full veil is not appropriate here, it should be forbidden wherever that is legally possible," she said at the Christian Democratic Union gathering, receiving a large round of applause, according to The Sun. "It does not belong to us."
Seeking to increase her low approval rating, Merkel expressed a determination to make sure there is no repeat of last year's massive migrant influx, which was followed by a rash of attacks allegedly carried out by refugees who were largely un-vetted when they entered Germany.
Around 890,000 asylum-seekers arrived in Germany last year, many of them coming after Merkel determined in September 2015 to allow migrants who were stuck in Hungary into the country.
Merkel's stance regarding the migrant crisis has caused quite a bit of consternation within the CDU and has led to a string of upsetting state election results.
"A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated," Merkel said. "That was and is our — and my — declared political aim."
However, Merkel's desire to see the burka banned is something new. In the past, CDU leaders have voiced skepticism about a total ban on full-face veils, despite calls to do just that from rank-and-file party members.
Merkel continues to insist that Germany will take in those in genuine need of protection, but her government has moved to tighten asylum rules, which means not every migrant can expect to find refuge in Germany.
The German chancellor was a key player this year behind an agreement between Turkey and the European Union to stem the flow of migrants.