QUITO — Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said he believed his country had overcome a diplomatic spat with Britain over its threat to enter the Ecuadoran Embassy in London in order to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
“We believe that this unfortunate incident is over,” said Correa. “It was a mistake for the British Foreign Office to say that they would enter our embassy.”
“It’s good that the United Kingdom has given up its threat,” he continued. “Now we act as if we never received it. We must seek a mutually acceptable solution of the case of Julian Assange through dialogue.”
The president added that he was glad the two countries “were returning to the path of dialogue and were looking for a consensual solution without abandoning our principles.”
Assange is facing rape and sexual assault allegations from two women from Stockholm. Having exhausted all his legal options in Britain to avoid extradition to Sweden, he walked into the Ecuadoran embassy on June 19 and claimed asylum.
The 41-year-old Australian fears he would be passed on to the United States, which he enraged by releasing a vast cache of its confidential government files.
With Assange holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague pointed out to Quito an obscure 1987 law under which its police could enter the mission and extract Assange.