Ecuador demands ‘public apology’ from Britain over alleged threat to enter embassy

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 25, 2012

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Ecuador demanded a “public apology” from Britain today for allegedly threatening to enter the Ecuadoran embassy in London to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino condemned Britain for what he called the “assault on our sovereignty” during a debate before the Organization of American States.

The meeting of the 34-member regional body was convened at Ecuador’s request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk its embassy’s “inviolability.”

The diplomatic confrontation over Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 19, reached a new pitch last week after Quito announced it was granting the 41-year-old Australian activist asylum.

Ecuador has charged that Britain threatened to lift the embassy’s diplomatic immunity and arrest Assange, who took refuge there to escape extradition to Sweden, where he is sought for questioning about sex assault allegations.

Patino said Quito had received a new communication from British authorities denying having ever made the threat, but Patino said his government was still waiting for an apology.

“Ecuador celebrates the change of attitude of the United Kingdom,” he said. But “the threat has already been made and continues in effect because it has not been withdrawn,” he added.

“If this impasse was with another country held in higher regard, the public apology would have been imminent. We were waiting for that, not for the denial of what was done,” he said.

While Britain has said it would not go into the embassy to arrest Assange, it has refused to grant Assange safe conduct out of the country.

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Published on August 25, 2012
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