The president of Ecuador is to meet officials from his government to assess the application for political asylum by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
But officials stressed that the move did not mean a decision had already been made about the future of Mr Assange, who has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past two months.
He is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces sex assault allegations, which he strenuously denies.
An official spokesman for the Ecuadorian government said on Tuesday night: "No decision has been made. The president made clear in an interview yesterday that he was meeting with officials (on Wednesday), including the Government's legal team, to assess the application by Mr Assange in the context of domestic Ecuadorian law and international human rights protocols.
"Reports that a decision has been reached are premature and it seems the result of over enthusiastic journalists short on facts but high on speculation."
It is believed to be the first time President Rafael Correa will have held meetings with officials, who will include legal experts.
Mr Assange fears he could be extradited to the United States if he goes to Sweden.
An offer by Ecuador for Swedish investigators to interview Mr Assange at the embassy in London was turned down.