Ecuador and UK want to ‘resolve’ Assange situation, foreign minister
Is time running out for Julian Assange at the Ecuador embassy? Foreign Minister says her country and Britain want the situation ‘resolved’ and are seeking a ‘definite agreement’
- Foreign minister María Fernanda Espinosa gave update on Assange’s condition
- He is still inside Ecuador’s London embassy without internet access, she said
- Ecuador and Britain are working toward a ‘definitive agreement’, she added
- Assange has been inside since 2012, when he claimed political asylum there
Ecuador’s foreign minister has hinted that Julian Assange’s time in the country’s London embassy could be coming to a close.
María Fernanda Espinosa said that Ecuador and the United Kingdom both want the situation to be ‘resolved’ and are working together to form a ‘definite agreement’.
Espinosa made the remark as she updated reporters on Assange’s condition last week, saying he is still inside the embassy without access to the internet after it was cut off in March.
María Fernanda Espinosa, foreign minister of Ecuador, has said she is working with the UK and a ‘team of lawyers’ to ‘resolve’ Julian Assange’s stay in the London embassy
In remarks quoted by Spanish news agency Agencia EFE, she said Ecuador was in ‘constant communication’ with the United Kingdom and a ‘team of lawyers’.
‘We are looking for an exit, but that exit has to be framed within the international law of human rights,’ she said.
The Wikileaks founder has been holed up in the Knightsbridge embassy since 2012 following attempt to extradite him to Sweden amid rape and sexual assault allegations.
Assange, who helped leak of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables that year, denied the claims and said they were politically motivated.
Swedish prosecutors have since dropped their investigation into allegations against Assange, but he fears he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves.
Assange took up residence in the Kensington embassy in 2012 by claiming political asylum amid allegations he sexually assaulted and raped women in Sweden
He also believes that there is a sealed indictment ordering his arrest.
London’s Metropolitan Police, who spent millions guarding the embassy during Assange’s stay, say he is still wanted on a charge of failing to surrender to a court.
A United Nations panel concluded in 2016 that Mr Assange was under arbitrary detention.
While Ecuador was initially happy to grant Assange political asylum, the government has since said his stay is ‘untenable’.
Last year, the 46-year-old Australian also angered Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno by tweeting support for Catalan separatists.
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