Disgraced U.K. Politician's Visit to Syria Raises Eyebrows Back Home

Haaretz
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Nick Griffin during his heyday as head of the British National Party.Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Haaretz

Disgraced British politician Nick Griffin visited Syria over the weekend, provoking questions back home about what exactly he was doing in the war-torn country, the Independent website reported.

The former head of the far-right British National Party was expelled from the party in October for “trying to cause disunity.”

Griffin apparently attended a conference in Damascus on terrorism and religious extremism organized by the Syrian Justice Ministry. The Syrians said that political and social figures from more than 80 countries had been invited to the conference, though it was unknown how many had actually attended.

Griffin was reportedly the only Briton to attend.

He claimed on Twitter to have done "nearly a dozen interviews" in one day during the conference and participated in an hour-long discussion on Syrian television.

"This prompted questions from confused members of the British public as to why he was the only one attending the conference on behalf of the UK after being invited by al-Assad," the Independent wrote.

It is not the first time that Griffin has been a guest of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Independent wrote. He made two "peace missions" to Damascus in June and August last year.

He is on record as saying that he believes the United States, the European Union and the U.K. were planning "to use ISIS as [an] excuse to bomb Syrian army & put Islamists in power."

On Sunday, Griffin posted a picture of himself standing in the ancient Umayyad Mosque in front of the tomb of St John the Baptist.

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