[QODLink]
Americas
Ecuador rebuts Assange refuge offer
President Correa says offer of residence made to WikiLeaks founder by lower official has not been approved.
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2010 13:35 GMT
Assange's current whereabouts are unclear [Reuters]

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has dismissed an offer of residency that a lower level official made to the embattled founder of the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

The offer by Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas on Monday "has not been approved by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino -- or the president," Correa told reporters.

Lucas had offered residence in his country to Julian Assange without conditions.

"We are ready to give him residence in Ecuador, with no problems and no conditions," he told the website Ecuadorinmediato on Monday.

"We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the internet but in a variety of public forums."

Assange has enraged the US, and many other countries, by releasing masses of classified US documents, including a dump of embarrassing diplomatic cables and documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq earlier this year.

Assange's whereabouts are unclear, although he spoke to a conference in Jordan via videolink before the latest leaks on Sunday.

Ecuador's Lucas praised people like Assange "who are constantly investigating and trying to get light out of the dark corners of [state] information".

He said Ecuador's government was "very concerned" by revelations in the leaked documents that US diplomats have been involved in spying.

WikiLeaks says it has 1,621 cables that originated from the US embassy in the Ecuadorean capital,
Quito. Their contents have not yet been disclosed.

Ecuador's leftist government is one of several in the region that have often been at odds with Washington. It expelled two US diplomats in early 2009, accusing one of directing CIA operations in Ecuador and another of interfering in police affairs.

The government continues close counternarcotics co-operation with the US, but a year ago Rafael Correa, the president, refused to renew the lease on what had been Washington's only base for counternarcotics flights in South America.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
Teenage phenom with quick hands and a passion for boxing has reminded many of the great Filipino fighter at a young age.
Families of Britons killed in 2013 siege at gas plant in Algeria frustrated by inquiry delay over 'sensitive' materials.
Rhinoceros beetles once drew 40,000 visitors each year to Tamura city, but nuclear disaster has decimated beetle mania.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
join our mailing list