Ecuador: Hopes for Assange case to be resolved this year

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THE Ecuadorian government has expressed hopes that the stalemate over the future of Wiki-Leaks founder Julian Assange will be resolved this year.

Officials said diplomatic channels remain open and it will be possible to resolve the fate of the Australian, who has been inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since last June.

Foreign minister Ricardo Patino said he was “always very optimistic” and hoped the future of Mr Assange will be decided before the end of the year.

Ecuador’s secretary of state for planning and development, Dr Fander Falconi, met Mr Assange during a brief visit to the UK.

“He is in very good health and good spirits,” Dr Falconi told a briefing inside the embassy yesterday. “He is very proud of Ecuador’s foreign policy and the very professional way the government of Ecuador is dealing with this issue.”

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual offences against two women, which he denies, but fears he will be extradited to the United States if he travels to Scandinavia.

Ecuador has repeatedly suggested that Swedish prosecutors interview Mr Assange inside the London Embassy, but the offer has been refused.