Ecuador’s Allies Warn Britain of 'Grave Consequences' over Assangeإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Ecuador has received powerful backing from regional allies as they warned Britain of "grave consequences" if it breaches diplomatic security at Ecuador's embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is holed up.
The warning capped two days of a tense diplomatic standoff between Britain and the South American nation, which on Thursday granted asylum to Assange, whose website enraged the United States by publishing a vast cache of confidential government files.
Britain has responded by vowing not to grant him safe passage out of the country.
But Ecuador called on its allies from the Venezuela-led so-called Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA), whose foreign ministers flew to the Ecuadoran economic capital and displayed late Saturday full diplomatic support.
"We warn the government of the United Kingdom that it will face grave consequences around the world if it directly breaches the territorial integrity of the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador in London," said a statement issued at the end of the ALBA meeting.
The statement, read by Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, also rejected Britain's "threats vis-a-vis our territorial integrity and sovereignty."
The regional group, which also includes Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua as well as a number of smaller Caribbean nations, expressed its "categorical support for Ecuador's sovereign right" to grant asylum to Assange and urged other world nations to reject what it called "Britain's attempts to impose its will by force."
ALBA nations also called on the United Nations to discuss the issue of inviolability of diplomatic installations around the world.
Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987, which it says allows it to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on British soil and go in to arrest Assange.
Assange, whose website caused a stir in the diplomatic world when it published a trove of diplomatic cables and military logs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, took refuge in the embassy on June 19 to evade extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual misconduct.