The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Germany’s third-largest party according to recent polls, has been excluded from this weekend’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), an annual high-level gathering in Bavaria where defense concerns are discussed. This snub marks the first time no member of the AfD parliamentary group has been invited to the conference since the party was formed.
Meanwhile, high-ranking officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are scheduled to attend the conference and deliver speeches.
The conference’s leader, German diplomat Christoph Heusgen, a member of the globalist think tank the European Council on Foreign Relations, said on February 13th in Berlin: “I have decided that we will not invite the AfD,” failing to provide a reason for the party’s exclusion when asked, Junge Freiheit reports.
“This is a decision by the chairman of the Munich Security Conference,” Heusgen told journalists. In excluding the AfD, Heusgen is deviating from the long held practice of inviting representatives from all parties in the Bundestag.
MP Petr Bystron, the foreign policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group, reacted to his party’s exclusion by saying, among other things, that “in times of war, voices of peace are shut out.”
In an official statement, Bystron wrote:
By excluding the AfD MPs from the MSC, the organizers are confirming that they are not concerned with dialogue and the exchange of opinions. Here, a stage for further intergovernmental confrontation in an increasingly multipolar world is financed solely with German tax money. In times of war, the voice of peace is shut out. Heusgen’s predecessor Ischinger invited at least some members of the AfD parliamentary group. The fear of uncomfortable opinions must be very great if not even this formality is fulfilled.
AfD MP Rüdiger Lucassen also took issue with his party’s exclusion from the conference, indicating that the gathering is funded by taxpayers, and as a result, organizers should be obligated to invite all parties represented in the Bundestag.
Furthermore, Lucassen added:
The security conference has always been a format for exchanging different opinions on security and defense policy. This is what international conferences are all about. A selection of the range of opinions by the chairman Christoph Heusgen is diametrically opposed to this idea.
Heusgen, who formerly served as Angela Merkel’s (CDU) foreign policy advisor—and chairing the conference for the first time this year—also disinvited government representatives from Russia and Iran, opting instead to invite members of the opposition in both countries.
Government officials from the CCP, however, will be well represented at the conference that begins February 17th, and extends through the weekend, concluding February 19th. Former foreign minister Wang Yi, who was recently promoted to the Politburo and now occupies China’s highest-ranking diplomatic post will attend and deliver a speech at the conference. Wang will visit Russia before or after attending the Munich conference.
Widely regarded as the most important meeting of politicians and experts on security policy worldwide, the Munich Security Conference is set to host more than 40 heads of state and 90 ministers from across the world. Among others, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), and Polish President Andrzej Duda will attend.