Assange row: ‘UK withdraws Ecuador embassy raid threat'



Assange row: ‘UK withdraws Ecuador embassy raid threat` Zeenews Bureau

Quito: In what seems to be easing the standoff over Julian Assange, Britain has communicated to Ecuador about withdrawing the threat to enter its embassy in London to arrest WikiLeaks founder, Ecuador President Rafael Correa said.

Ecuador and Britain have been mired in a diplomatic faceoff ever since Julian Assange took refuge in Ecuador embassy in London on June 19 in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

After which British government issued threats that it would enter the embassy and arrest Assange, which further prompted an enraged Ecuador to lash out at UK saying, it would be “suicidal” for UK to do that.

But with the latest British assurance over Assange, the situation seems to have calmed down.

Ecuador's government said in a statement that it had received "a communication from the British Foreign Office which said that there was no threat to enter the embassy."

Also, the withdrawal of British threat comes a day after, the Organization of American States condemned Britain's warning, saying that it was unacceptable and could set a dangerous precedent.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.

The founder of the whistle-blowing website denies the sex accusations, and fears he will be extradited from Scandinavia to the United States over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of secret diplomatic cables in 2010.

Ecuador’s Presidet Correa has said Ecuador never intended to stop Assange from facing justice in Sweden.

“What we've asked for is guarantees that he won't be extradited to a third country,” he added.

Correa also said his nation had to improvise to provide Assange with as many home comforts as possible at the diplomatic mission in London's affluent Knightsbridge area, including a bed, microwave, shower and treadmill for jogging.

With Agency Inputs