Feb 252018

Ecuador says the country’s latest efforts to negotiate the departure of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy have failed.

Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said the UK was unwilling to take part in talks about his release.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said Mr Assange should “leave the embassy to face justice”.

Mr Assange, 46, has been staying at the country’s London embassy since 2012 where he was granted political asylum.

Last week, the arrest warrant against him was upheld meaning as soon as he leaves the embassy he will be detained.

Ecuador’s foreign minister said: “On the issue of mediation, I have to say very honestly that it has not been successful because two parties are needed to mediate. Ecuador is willing, but not necessarily the other party”.

She said her country would “continue looking for mechanisms” to end the stalemate.

But a spokesman from the UK Foreign Office said: “Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice”

Last December, Mr Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship in a move which the country hoped could give him immunity in the UK.

But the UK does not recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent and continues to insist he should “face justice”.

There is no extradition treaty between the UK and Ecuador so he cannot be arrested inside the embassy.

Mr Assange breached bail conditions when he sought refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy six years ago.

He faced questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden, which have since been dropped.

Previously, Mr Assange has justified his decision to break bail conditions arguing if he faced the Swedish authorities he would be extradited to the US over the publication of classified documents.

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