'No solution is in sight' in Julian Assange stand-off


No solution is in sight to resolve the stand-off over Julian Assange's extradition to Sweden, William Hague has said, as the WikiLeaks founder remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy.

The Foreign Secretary met Ecuador's vice-president Lenin Moreno in London yesterday following Ecuador's decision to grant Mr Assange diplomatic asylum.

Mr Assange is awaiting extradition to Sweden to face sexual offence allegations. The Australian national says he fears further extradition to the United States over documents published on his WikiLeaks website.

The 41-year-old jumped bail to enter Ecuador's London embassy and will be arrested the moment he steps outside the building where he has been since June.

Ecuador has claimed Britain threatened to storm its embassy after Foreign Official highlighted available powers to enter the building and make the arrest.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's PM programme, Mr Hague described yesterday's talks as "amicable" but said no solution is likely in the short term.

"We are not threatening to storm the Ecuadorian embassy. We have made clear the full legal position to the Ecuadorians and we have stressed since the beginning of this we are looking for an amicable solution," he said.

"We have stressed the legal position of the United Kingdom and I stressed that again yesterday to the vice-president, that we are legally bound to arrest Mr Assange and extradite him to Sweden. There is no legal basis for us to do anything else.

"This may go on for a long time so we are not making a threat against the embassy of Ecuador. We agreed yesterday our officials would continue to talk about finding a solution.

"Given Ecuador's position on what they call diplomatic asylum and our very clear legal position, such a solution is not in sight at the moment."