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UK wants 'amicable solution' with Ecuador on Assange

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UK wants 'amicable solution' with Ecuador on Assange
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Efforts are ongoing to try to solve the diplomatic impasse over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Britain says it wants to reach an “amicable solution” with Ecuador, which has granted him political asylum.

However, it insists it is legally bound to extradite him to Sweden over sexual assault accusations.

Assange remains in Ecuador’s London embassy.

“I will hope that the British authorities would change their position and give him a safe passage and come to their senses in a way and realise that the right thing to do is to give him a safe passage from the embassy to Ecuador,” said WikiLeaks’ spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Quito is trying to drum up Latin American support.

Ecuador’s president has spoken for the first time since the decision to grant Assange asylum.

“Julian Assange could be in our embassy for an indefinite amount of time. The crimes that are being investigated in Sweden, the alleged sexual crimes, they wouldn’t be crimes here. It was a consensual relationship of several months,” said President Rafael Correa.

Sweden says Ecuador should not interfere with its legal process.

Quito backed Assange after being angered by accusations in US diplomatic cables exposed by WikiLeaks.

Other campaign groups say Ecuador is being hypocritical as it has often clamped down on free speech.