With only a few days to go until the German national election, Deutsche Welle provided insight into the campaign for its viewers around the world with a unique live TV debate.
Politicians from all parties with a likely chance of making it into parliament discussed Germany’s role in the international arena. DW’s Tim Sebastian moderated ‘Conflict Zone – The Debate‘, which was conducted in English in front of a studio audience in Berlin.
Andreas Nick (CDU/CSU)
On EU border protection: “Libya is not a viable state to provide security for refugees.”
On the Brexit: “Britain has to learn that they can’t have the cake and eat it which is their current negotiating strategy.”
Ralf Stegner (SPD)
On President Trump: “The US are still a reliable ally. America is a strong democracy and they will survive Trump, I think. Maybe he has to experience that some of his crazy ideas won’t get support anywhere in the world.” He added: “Merkel does not stand up enough against Trump.”
On sanctions against Russia: “Sanctions won’t lead us anywhere.” He added: “There is a lot of hypocrisy. Violations of international law don’t always lead to sanctions. Look at Hungary, look at Poland.”
Omid Nouripour (Greens)
On Turkey: “We have to find a clear language for Turkey, we have to stop selling arms to Erdogan who is using them against Kurds who are fighting ISIS.”
Stefan Liebich (Left Party)
On refugees: “We used to protect ourselves from enemies. Now we are protecting ourselves from people who need our help.”
On Turkey: “EU negotiations should be suspended, not stopped.”
Michael Link (FDP)
On Turkey: “We direct our criticism only at Erdogan, not at the Turkish people, not at Islam. We must support the opposition. The German government finally has to take measures.”
On Crimea: “Crimea remains on the agenda. Step by step sanctions should be reduced but only if the Minsk agreement is implemented.”
Christine Anderson (AfD)
On Crimea: “We keep talking about illegal annexions as if Crimea was taken by the Russians. There is a UN Charta which says every people have the right to decide for themselves where they want to belong to. And that is what the people in Crimea did. In this case I would at least take into consideration, maybe it wasn’t so illegal after all what happened there.”
Conflict Zone is DW's top political interview. Every week, our hosts are face-to-face with global decision-makers, seeking straight answers to straight questions, putting the spotlight on controversial issues and calling the powerful to account.