Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa warned that the United Kingdom’s threat to raid his country’s embassy in London to arrest Australian citizen Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, still persists today.“They said so in writing. In any case, the United Kingdom has not backed down, has not apologized. The danger exists,” said Correa on a TV program a few hours ago.
Regarding Ecuador’s steps, he noted that his country would react strongly, with the law on our side and respecting international law in light of this intolerable situation.
Correa described the UK’s intention as a violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty and a suicidal action, because the diplomatic venues of that country might be violated later in all corners of the world.
“It would be a disastrous precedent,” Correa told the Ecuadorian TV program Perspectiva 7. He added that the UK would be the most affected if it makes such a decision.
The president noted that Ecuador would continue making efforts before international organizations, after the unanimous condemnation by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
In the case of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose foreign ministers will meet on August 24 in Washington, Correa pointed out that he also expected their rejection of the UK’s warnings to Ecuador.
He will appeal to international solidarity and the United Nations, although he ruled out the General Assembly, because that meeting is a waste of time and Ecuador can resort to other levels.
He questioned the fact that the United States and the UK have not signed conventions or international treaties such as the San Jose Pact and the International Court in The Hague, but most Latin American countries have penned those instruments.
Regarding the stances by Canada and the U.S. in the OAS, which consider that UK’s threat against Ecuador is an affair that the two countries must settle, Correa noted that if one of them were involved in a similar situation, it would certainly be an international affair.
Correa denied that Assange or Ecuador are preventing the enforcement of Swedish justice, and pointed out that on the contrary, conditions were created in the embassy for Assange to testify on alleged sex crimes.
In this case, there were no guarantees that he would not be extradited to the U.S., where he would probably be sentenced to death, as there is political pressure about him.
Correa noted that dialogue has always been opened, but Ecuador’s sovereignty has never been negotiated, so the UK’s attitude was intransigent. However, that country did not extradite (former Chilean dictator) Augusto Pinochet at the time.
He thanked the good offices of any nation, but Ecuador and the UK are two responsible governments that can talk directly on the issue. (Taken from PL)