As he urged Britain to withdraw its “rude” threat to raid the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, President Rafael Correa said his country was ready for Dialogue over the issue. Ecuador granted last week asylum to Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in order to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces questioning over alleged sex crimes.
A diplomatic row erupted as Ecuador granted asylum to Assange on Thursday, with Britain has refused to grant him safe passage out of the country, threatening to raid the embassy and arrest the Australian national.
Speaking to reporters, Correa said Britain must “withdraw the grave error it committed by threatening Ecuador to possibly raid its diplomatic mission to arrest Mr Julian Assange.”
However, “despite this impertinence, this rude and unacceptable threat, we remain open to dialogue,” he added.
Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987, which it says allows it to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on British soil and go in to arrest Assange.
The wikileaks founder took refuge in the embassy on June 19 to evade extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.
Assange, 41, says Sweden plans to hand him over to the United States, where he fears prosecution over WikiLeaks’s release of a vast cache of embassy cables as well as secret files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.