Julian Assange: Ecuador looks to end WikiLeaks founder impasse

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"Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice", the spokesperson added.

On Tuesday, foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Ecuador was exploring mediation to solve the standoff.

The Wikileaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when he was faced with extradition to Sweden for allegedly sexually assaulting two women.

Following reports in Ecuadorean media that Mr Assange may have received citizenship, he posted a picture of himself on Twitter wearing an Ecuadorian football shirt on Wednesday.

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says they have granted naturalization to Julian Assange.

He was also a point of contention in Ecuador's 2017 presidential election. "We have reminded Mr Assange that he has no reason to interfere in Ecuadoran politics because his status does not allow it".

Ecuador subsequently asked the United Kingdom to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent - a move that could have given him immunity.

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Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into allegations against Assange, however he fears he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves the building and that there is a sealed indictment ordering his arrest. That's not the case for Julian Assange.

Ecuador remains willing to shield Assange from any possible extradition for the immediate future but has no way of extracting him without London police interference, hence the impasse.

Any mediated deal between Ecuador and the United Kingdom would likely have to address Mr Assange's concerns.

"Safe passage [could] be granted for him to go to Ecuador where he would continue to enjoy diplomatic asylum and protection", Professor Don Rothwell said.

The UK has also refused to guarantee that Mr Assange will not be extradited to the U.S. where he could face charges for his role in releasing classified military documents.

August 16, 2012: Ecuador grants Assange political asylum. Ecuador has repeatedly urged Assange not to interfere in the affairs of other countries following his frequent online comments on global issues.

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