10 Jan The Wall Street Journal: Ecuador calls Julian Assange standoff ‘unsustainable,’ seeks way for him to leave embassy in London
Ecuador said Tuesday that it was looking for a way for Julian Assange to leave the Andean country’s embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has lived since 2012 when he was granted political asylum.
Foreign Relations Minister María Fernanda Espinosa said in comments reported by state media that it was “unsustainable” for Assange to stay at the embassy indefinitely. Espinosa said Ecuadorean officials were hoping to reach an agreement with the U.K. that would allow Assange to leave.
“No person can live in those conditions forever,” Espinosa said. “There won’t be any solution without international cooperation and without the cooperation of the United Kingdom.” Espinosa added that Ecuador wasn’t giving up on its commitment to protect Assange. “We’ll continue protecting Julian Assange while his physical and psychological integrity are in danger,” she said.
Assange entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual-assault allegations that he denies. The Swedish investigation has ended, but he remains in the embassy out of fear that U.S. authorities would seek his extradition to face charges for leaking thousands of classified government documents in 2006 that detailed the inner workings of U.S. foreign policy.
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