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article imageVideo: Ecuador President Rafael Correa on Assange's asylum

By Anne Sewell     Aug 24, 2012 in World
Quito - RT's Spanish channel interviews President Rafael Correa of Ecuador on the country's decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange.
Ecuador's president explains the choice he made, and says what he thinks Britain's motives really are.
The interviewer asks President Correa about his decision to grant asylum to Assange, and he explains that it was not an easy decision. Investigations had to be made in the claims made by Assange about the dangers of extradition to Sweden, which could be followed by extradition to the U.S. The country investigated the legal side of things in the U.K., Sweden and also Ecuador itself. International law was investigated to see how matters could arise from the asylum grant.
The interviewer asks President Correa about the visit of Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange, and whether this visit had any effect on Ecuador's decision. President Correa explains that while Mrs Assange is a lovely person and he enjoyed meeting with her, this did not affect the decision in any way.
President Correa explains that anyone is welcome to approach the Ecuadorian embassy for asylum, but that criminals will never receive asylum.
He explained that Assange will stay in the embassy indefinitely, until safe passage can be achieved.
He says that should the U.K. raid the embassy to attempt to arrest Assange, this will affect all their embassies worldwide. He assures that the U.K. has many more diplomatic missions than Ecuador and that diplomacy worldwide would be under risk.
He is asked why Sweden would not accept the invitation to question Assange in the embassy. He says this is a normal practice, but that Sweden denied the offer.
ALBA and UNASUR are in full support of Ecuador in their decision, mainly due to the "clumsiness" of the U.K. government in their threat to raid the embassy in London.
On Friday, the Organization of American States (OAS) will meet to discuss the issue.
President Correa says that Ecuador is still open to dialogue, and wishes the U.K. would give safe passage to Assange to leave the country and travel to Ecuador, where he will then be under the protection of that country.
More about Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Ecuador, Rafael Correa, president rafael correa
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