German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the wearing of full-faced veils should be prohibited in the country “wherever it is legally possible”.
At a meeting of her CDU party, she backed a burka ban in schools, courts and other state buildings.
It is widely accepted that a total ban would violate Germany’s constitution.
Mrs Merkel was re-elected CDU leader but faces a tough challenge by the right-wing anti-immigration AfD party in next year’s polls.
She has seen her approval ratings slip since her decision to allow about a million asylum seekers into Germany during last year’s Europe-wide migrant crisis.