Ecuador gives Assange citizenship, seeks end to embassy stay

FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Ecuador has given citizenship to Julian Assange as part of its efforts to allow the WikiLeaks founder to leave the country’s London embassy where he has been holed up for more than five years.

Ecuador made the move hours after the British government refused a request from the South American nation for Assange to be given diplomatic status, which could give him immunity from arrest should he try to leave the embassy.

After a year in which Ecuador’s president has spoken out against Assange, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said she hoped to find a solution to his dilemma.

“Ecuador is currently exploring other solutions in dialogue with the UK, like good offices of renowned authorities, other states, or international organizations that could facilitate a just, final and dignified solution for all parties,” Espinosa told a press conference in Quito.

Britain saw only one resolution to the diplomatic standoff.

“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” said a British Foreign Office spokesman.

Assange’s U.S. lawyer Barry Pollack had no comment.

  • Niemals

    That is not enough if he wish to ‘be free’ from his embassy ‘prison’.

    I doubt that he will get a diplomatic status too. ????

  • Y K

    Ecuador’s own Lenin wants to get rid of annoying Assange without losing too much face and street cred as a worthy successor to Correa’s brand of left-wing populism.

    • Niemals

      Ecuador calls Julian Assange standoff ‘unsustainable,’ seeks way for him to leave embassy in London – he have been there since since 2012(!)

      Assange entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual-assault allegations that he denies #metoo….
      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.

      Foreign Relations Minister María Fernanda Espinosa is hoping to reach an agreement with the U.K. that would allow Assange to leave. Perhaps in 2028….

    • The Naked Prey

      If so, giving him citizenship and diplomatic status is a strange way to affect that goal.

      • Y K

        Think harder, mate, and you’ll figure it out. Or did they kick you out of the army for stupidity? 🙂

        • The Naked Prey

          I was just hoping you would elaborate, but it’s really no big deal, lol.