Julian Assange's bid for diplomatic status rejected by Britain

Julian Assange's bid for diplomatic status rejected by Britain

Britain's Foreign Office says it has rejected Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the nation's embassy in London since 2012 to avoid arrest by United Kingdom authorities.

Responding to the UK's refusal to grant Mr Assange diplomatic status, Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said: "No solution will be achieved without global co-operation and the co-operation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out".

"What naturalization does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection", Espinosa said.

Swedish prosecutors past year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into allegations against him, which included a claim of rape.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their charges against Assange a year ago, but British police have said they are prepared to arrest him for breaching bail conditions.

Earlier this week Assange "fueled speculation he'd received an Ecuadorean passport", Frank notes, "by posting a photo on Twitter wearing a jersey of the Ecuadorean national soccer team".

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Meanwhile, the British government confirmed that Ecuador had recently asked for diplomatic status for Assange.

"Assange made the request after having lived about five and half years under the jurisdiction of the Ecuadorian state, " the minister said.

Mr Assange's relationship with Ecuador's leaders hasn't always been stable, with numerous warnings issued for Mr Assange not to meddle in politics since he first sought asylum.

Ecuador's announcement came after several days of speculation that the Ecuadorean government was ramping up efforts to find a solution for Assange.

Espinosa expressed irritation at recent news reports, saying she felt "obliged to make statements about a matter" that needed to "be managed with prudence and caution". "Nobody should pretend that granting him Ecuadorean citizenship is a route to solving this longstanding issue". "No solution can be reached without worldwide cooperation and without cooperation from the United Kingdom, which in addition has shown interest in finding a solution".

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