Thursday, August 16, 2012

Britain And Ecuador In Diplomatic Crisis Over Julian Assange

British authorities threaten to raid the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to get Assange

The wire services of Reuters is reporting that a major diplomatic crisis escalated on Wednesday in London over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after UK authorities indicated that they would storm Ecuador's London embassy if Ecuadorian diplomats did not turn over Mr. Assange, who has been taking refuge there for two months.

In response, the Ecuadorian government quickly raised legal and diplomatic concerns over the British threats. Reuters reported that Ecuadorean government officials said such a raid would be considered a "hostile and intolerable act," and it would violate the sovereignty of Ecuador's government, and, by extension, its Embassy in London.

"We want to be very clear, we're not a British colony. The colonial times are over," Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an angry statement after a meeting with President Rafael Correa, Reuters reported.

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London posted the following statement yesterday on it's mission's website :

“We are deeply shocked by British government’s threats against the sovereignty of the Ecuadorian Embassy and their suggestion that they may forcibly enter the embassy.

This is a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention.

Throughout out the last 56 days Mr. Julian Assange has been in the Embassy, the Ecuadorian Government has acted honourably in all our attempts to seek a resolution to the situation. This stands in stark contrast to the escalation of the British Government today with their threats to breakdown the door of the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Instead of threatening violence against the Ecuadorian Embassy the British Government should use its energy to find a peaceful resolution to this situation which we are aiming to achieve.“

The Associated Press wire service has already reported that British police have made arrests of peaceful activists outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

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