President says UK 'threat' to enter Ecuador's embassy is over
Ecuador's President says Britain has withdrawn its threat to enter his country's embassy to arrest Julian Assange, in a sign that relations between the two countries may be thawing.
President Rafael Correa said the UK had been guilty of a "grave diplomatic error" but revealed that his government had now received assurances that police would not enter the embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for two months.
Ecuador was angered after Britain warned there was a basis in law to seize Mr Assange, who is wanted for questioning in Sweden over rape and sexual-assault allegations. But in his weekly message over the weekend, the Ecuadorean President said he considered "this unfortunate incident over".
Mr Correa also questioned the motives of Mr Assange's alleged victims. In an interview reported in The Sunday Times, he said that if they had been sexually assaulted they would have reported the WikiLeaks founder immediately. Their failure to do so was "very suspicious", he said, adding: "The crimes that Assange is accused of would not be crimes in 90 to 95 per cent of the planet."
Women's support groups insist there is no "normal" way for sex-assault victims to behave.
The Foreign Office denied directly threatening to enter the embassy, but the claims led to a diplomatic spat with Latin American nations that warned it could set a dangerous precedent.
The dispute began after Ecuador's Minister for Foreign Affairs released a letter from the Foreign Office which stated there was a "legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the Embassy".
Mr Assange remains trapped inside the embassy with police waiting outside. The Foreign Office said it was determined to meet its legal obligations to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
Flexible for the right candidate: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: I have a fa...
£500 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Calypso, J2SE, XML, ...
£35000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading financia...
£250 - £350 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is cur...