UK urges talks with Ecuador on Assange

UK urges talks with Ecuador on Assange
# 04 September 2012 02:52 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA.. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for a diplomatic solution to the stand-off with Ecuador over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after saying last week that “a solution is not in sight”, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Assange, who faces extradition to Sweden by British officials, has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since two months ago.

The diplomatic row began after British Foreign Office sent a message to Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry telling them the British police will storm the embassy if Assange is not handed over.

Britain backed off on the threat last week but is sticking to its pledge to prevent the Australian, who has received political asylum from Ecuador, from traveling to the South American country or leaving Britain.

Hague confirmed in a written statement to the House of Commons on Monday that Britain will abide by the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity of foreign embassies but said talks should get underway so that the Ecuadorian embassy lets British police arrest Assange.

"It is a matter of regret that instead of continuing our discussions, the Foreign Minister of Ecuador announced on August 16 that Ecuador had decided to grant diplomatic asylum," Hague said.

"We wish to continue our dialogue with the government of Ecuador. We believe that our two countries should be able to find a diplomatic solution. We have invited the government of Ecuador to resume, as early as possible, the discussions we have held on this matter to date,” he added.

Hague also claimed the fears expressed by Ecuadorian officials and Assange that his extradition to Sweden is a cover for handing him over to the US officials, where he faces serious charges over publication of US diplomatic cables in 2010, are “unfounded.”

The publication of the highly confidential cables by WikiLeaks website has caused Washington global embarrassment.
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