[QODLink]
Americas
Ecuador slams UK threats over Assange
President Rafael Correa says Britain's threats to remove Julian Assange are "vulgar, inconsiderate and intolerable".
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2012 19:58
Julian Assange remains hold up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while a diplomatic spat ensues [AFP]

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has slammed what he called Britain's "vulgar threats" to remove WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuador embassy in London where he has been granted asylum.

"Never, as long as I am president, will Ecuador accept threats like these, which are absolutely vulgar, inconsiderate and intolerable," Correa said in a weekly statement on Saturday.

"We will not give up our sovereignty. We respect everyone, and we are always seeking dialogue, but the final decision is ours."

On Wednesday, Ecuador said it had been informed in writing that Britain was willing to seize Assange from the embassy in order to extradite him to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault allegations.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday that his government was obliged under its own laws to extradite the Australian national to Sweden.

"No one, least of all the government of Ecuador, should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation," Hague told reporters.

'No safe passage'

Assange says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States, a claim the US has denied, which views WikiLeaks as a threat to its national security following the leak of a trove of secret front-line military reports and confidential embassy cables.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19 after exhausting all legal appeals against the extradition.

Ecuador has granted Assange's request for asylum, but with British police posted outside the embassy, it is unclear whether he will be able to leave the building.

Hague said on Thursday that Britain would not grant Assange safe passage because "there is no legal basis for us to do so".

Assange plans to make a public statement on the case on Sunday at 1300 GMT, according to a spokesman.

The Organisation of American States has, meanwhile, called a meeting of foreign ministers for August 24 to discuss the Assange case and the widening diplomatic row between Quito and London.

332

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
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.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list