Assange at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, May 2017 (AP Photo)
Madrid, July 28 (RHC)-- The president of Ecuador says Julian Assange must leave his country’s London embassy “eventually”, revealing discussions are underway with British authorities to end his asylum.
Lenin Moreno acknowledged that talks with the British government speaking at an event in Madrid where he met with King Felipe and prime minister Pedro Sanchez, following a three-day trip to London.
The Ecuadoran president said nobody should remain under asylum “for too long” and that Assange would “eventually need to leave” the embassy.
He added any eviction would come as the result of negotiations involving all sides and hinge on whether Assange’s life could be guaranteed.
"In Ecuador there is no death penalty and we knew it was an option for his case. That´s why the only thing we want is to guarantee his life will not be in jeopardy”, he said.
Lenin Moreno cast doubts over how much longer the WikiLeaks founder’s six-year stay at the embassy could last after he announced talks had resumed to facilitate his exit.
Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 in order to avoid his extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sex assault allegations, which he has always denied.
The case has since been dropped, although the Australian-born programmer would still be arrested by British police for breaching bail conditions.
He also fears extradition to the United States, where he could be tried for the leaking of classified US state department documents.
The president also insisted he had no sympathy for Assange’s political agenda as a leaker of confidential documents.
When asked if he had spoken to British authorities about Assange’s situation during his stay, he said the countries remained in constant contact over the matter.
““I have never been in favor of Assange's activity… The only person I have never spoken to is Assange,” he added.
A government spokesman said on Friday talks over Assange’s future between the UK and Ecuador remained ongoing, but had not been brought up during the president’s visit.
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