Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia Amores on Friday reaffirmed the country’s decision to grant asylum to the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website’s founder, Julian Assange.
“His status of the person who is seeking asylum still remains in force,” the foreign minister told the Universo newspaper.
Valencia added that the issue of Assange must be settled through the direct dialogue between the Assange’s lawyers and the authorities of the United Kingdom, where he is currently residing in the Ecuadorian embassy.
Assange has been residing in the embassy since June 2012 after the United Kingdom granted his extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of sexual offenses. While the Swedish police dropped the charges in 2017, Assange is still wary of being extradited to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking classified documents of the US State Department.
In July, President Lenin Moreno said that Assange might leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London at any moment if his rights and international norms were guaranteed.
In late September, Moreno expressed hope to work together with the UK authorities to reach a legal solution that would allow Assange to leave the embassy.