Ecuador's Foreign Minister to meet Julian Assange in London


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The Independent Online

The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister is to visit London on the eve of the first anniversary of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's dramatic arrival at the country's UK embassy, it was announced yesterday.

Ricardo Patino will meet Mr Assange at the embassy in London, and has offered to hold talks with the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to try to reach an agreement over Mr Assange's future. The Australian has been inside the embassy since 19 June last year and has since been granted political asylum.

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sexual allegations by two women, which he denies. Mr Assange fears that if he goes – or is taken – to Sweden then he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over publication by WikiLeaks of confidential information. Although he has made several addresses from an embassy window to the media and crowds below, he has not been able to leave the embassy premises for almost a year.

An Ecuadorian government spokesman said: "Mr Patino will be in London on 16 June and has offered to meet with Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss the case of Julian Assange."