`Oz to continue providing consular support to Assange`

Australia on Wednesday said it would continue to provide consular support for WIkileaks founder Julian Assange, but said his decision to seek asylum in Ecuador was his own.

Updated: Jun 20, 2012, 16:52 PM IST

Melbourne: Australia on Wednesday said it would continue to provide consular support for WIkileaks founder Julian Assange, but said his decision to seek asylum in Ecuador was his own.

"Assange`s decision and choices are a matter for Assange," Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was quoted as saying by the APP news agency from Mexico.

"Our consular officials have been in contact with him, also with Ecuador in London about this, but his decisions in relation to this matter are for him to make," Gillard said.

Assange has had consular assistance every step of the way, Gillard said in Los Cabos where she has been attending a G20 leaders summit.

"Indeed, the foreign minister has remarked that he has received more consular assistance than any other Australian in a comparable position," she said.

Earlier, Assange has said he was "grateful" to Ecuador for considering his asylum application.

The Ecuador embassy in London said Assange arrived in the embassy yesterday afternoon and sought political asylum, he was "under the protection of the Ecuadorian government".

Last week, Assange lost his final bid to block his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences when Britain`s Supreme Court dismissed his appeal to re-open the extradition case.

The court had ruled that 40-year-old Australian should not be extradited until June 28.

PTI