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Bid to reach deal on Assange future

The Government is considering a request to meet a senior Ecuadorian minister to try to reach an agreement over the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ricardo Patino, Ecuador's Foreign Minister will travel to the UK later this month on the eve of the first anniversary of Mr Assange's dramatic arrival at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He will meet with Mr Assange and has offered to hold talks with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The Australian has been inside the embassy since June 19 last year and has since been granted political asylum.

He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sexual allegations by two women, which he denies.

Mr Assange fears he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over publication by WikiLeaks of confidential information if he travels to Sweden.

An Ecuadorian government spokesman said: "On Sunday 16th June Ricardo Patino Ecuador's Foreign Minister will be visiting London in order to meet with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy, on the eve of the first anniversary of Mr Assange in our diplomatic premises.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador has informed UK authorities that Mr Patio will be in London and has offered to meet with Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss the case of Julian Assange."

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We were informed of Mr Patino's intention to travel to London and we are now considering a request for a meeting with the Foreign Secretary.

"UK Government officials have been in regular contact with representatives of the Ecuadorian Government, both in London and Quito, about Mr Assange. We hope the visit will contribute to our joint commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to this issue."


From Belfast Telegraph