Journalists at Ecuador Embassy in London
The United Kingdom has withdrawn a threat to enter Ecuador’s embassy in London to
arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who has taken refuge there, the Ecuadorian president has said.
Rafael Correa was speaking during a weekly media address on Saturday.
“We consider this unfortunate incident over, after a grave diplomatic error by the British in which they said they would enter our embassy,” Correa said.
In a statement, Ecuador’s government said it had received “a communication from the British Foreign Office which said that there was no threat to enter the embassy”.
Ecuador was furious after the British government warned it might try to seize Assange, who has been holed up in the building for more than two months trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.
Ecuador, which has granted Assange asylum, demanded that Britain’s threat be retracted.
The latest move should improve relations between Quito and London and allow more talks on Assange’s fate to take place.
For now, however, Assange remains trapped in the embassy with British police waiting outside. Britain has said it is determined to fulfill a legal obligation to send him to Sweden.