World Bulletin / News Desk
An FCO spokesperson was quoted Wednesday night by British media, including the Guardian that the “government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr. Assange here in the UK,” but “the U.K. did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.”
A proposed diplomatic status -- if it had been granted -- would give the WikiLeaks' founder diplomatic immunity, which would make it possible for him to leave the embassy and the U.K. without fear of arrest.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy located in Knightsbridge, central London for nearly six years after claiming diplomatic asylum in June 2012 after being wanted by Swedish prosecutors for questioning over various alleged sexual offences. He was supposed to be extradited to Stockholm by British authorities before entering the embassy.
He refused to go back to Sweden, referring to the risk of extradition to the U.S., where he insisted the American authorities would charge him with espionage for releasing troves of once-secret files to the public.
The development came following reports by the Ecuadorian press that Assange, who is Australian by birth, recently became an Ecuadorian citizen and was granted a passport.
Swedish prosecutors last year dropped their investigation into allegations against Assange but he still faces arrest by British authorities for breaching his former bail conditions if he leaves the embassy.
Ecuador’s foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa, earlier this week, said her country was seeking a “third country or a personality” to mediate a final settlement with the U.K. to resolve the impasse.
“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” the FCO spokesperson said.
In 2016, a UN panel concluded that Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained in violation of international law.
Israeli army frequently conducts wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank
Probe by Israeli rights group B'Tselem concludes that intentional fatal shot was fired at the Palestinian paramedic.
"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Trump said
Here are five takeaways from the news conference that followed their first summit, in the Finnish capital Helsinki:
An abandoned mining town in California went on sale for $ 1.4 million
Roughly 80 percent of Iraq’s crude oil exports originate from oilfields in Basra province
Kerem Shalom is Gaza's only functioning commercial crossing
More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March
Resources strained as thousand crossing into Canada from US
American Civil Liberties Union granted request to halt deportations for one week after reunification
Trump declared that US-Russian relations have turned a corner after a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he described as "open, direct and deeply productive".
Operation is aimed at restoring confidence after last year’s illegitimate poll on Kurdish regional independence
The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.
ISIL still maintains a limited presence in northern and western Iraq
90 more migrants in critical condition found inside shipping containers