Ecuador gives Assange citizenship, seeks solution with Britain

Published: January 11, 2018
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was “naturalized” as an Ecuadorean on Dec. 12, at his request, Ecuador’s foreign minister said on Thursday, adding that she was seeking a “dignified” solution to his situation with Britain.

Britain said earlier on Thursday it had refused a request by Ecuador for Assange to be given diplomatic status, a spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign Office said.

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Assange has been holed up for more than five years in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

Ecuador’s foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed Assange’s citizenship request at a press conference in Quito. She said she feared for threats to Assange’s life coming from third party states.

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