Ecuador: Britain will not raid embassy in Assange standoff

August 26, 2012 02:57

QUITO - Britain has withdrawn a threat to enter Ecuador's embassy in London to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who has taken refuge there, President Rafael Correa said on Saturday, taking the heat out of the diplomatic standoff.

"We consider this unfortunate incident over, after a grave diplomatic error by the British in which they said they would enter our embassy," Correa said in a weekly media address.

In a statement, Ecuador's government said it had received "a communication from the British Foreign Office which said that there was no threat to enter the embassy."

Ecuador was furious after the British government warned it might try to seize Assange, who has been holed up in the building for more than two months trying to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.

Ecuador, which has granted the former computer hacker asylum, demanded that Britain's threat be retracted. The latest move should improve relations between Quito and London and allow more talks on Assange's fate to take place.

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