July 22, 2018 02:00 PM NPT
LONDON, July 22: Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno is not planning to meet with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who resides in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, during the president's upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said on July 19.
A source close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the president's office, refusing to speak publicly, has confirmed that Moreno is close to settling if he has not already settled, an agreement to hand over Assange to the UK within the next several weeks, the Intercept reported.
The withdrawal of Assange’s asylum and his ejection could come as early as this week.
According to Ecuadorian Deputy Foreign Minister Andres Teran, Quito and London are currently negotiating Assange's future, but Moreno's involvement in the talks has not been confirmed.
Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 after he was accused of sexual assault. He fears that the charges could be an excuse to extradite him to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking damning Iraq War logs. In June, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said that Assange's asylum cannot last forever.
Julian Assange cannot leave the South American state's embassy in London without being arrested and deportedto the United States, where he has been accused of espionage and leaking thousands of classified documents related to military operations.