Ecuador grants Julian Assange citizenship, seeks solution with Britain

Assange's'eviction may be a result of his disagreement with Ecuador's President

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition to the United States, was today denied diplomatic status by the UK government.

She called the measure "one more ring of protection" for Assange, who has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant on rape allegations - a charge he has always denied. Sweden dropped the case, but Assange has remained in the embassy because he is still subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail. He originally sought sanctuary in the embassy, fearing that if he was sent to Sweden he would be extradited to the United States over the Wikileaks case.

The UK Foreign Office reportedly rejected a request from Quito to grant the whistle-blower diplomatic status.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017.

Assange was awarded diplomatic asylum in mid-2012 by President Rafael Correa on the grounds that the Wikileaks leader's life was in danger should he be extradited to the U.S.to face charges of leaking classified information. If the situation is indeed untenable, Assange could finally leave the embassy. She said in a news conference Thursday in Quito, the Ecuadoran capital, that Assange was granted citizenship on December 12, after having applied for it in September.

"A person can not live in those conditions forever", she added, reiterating that Ecuador will continue to provide the whistleblower with all necessary assistance.

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Reports by Ecuadorian outlet El Universo stated Assange became a citizen of the country, and he tweeted a photo of himself wearing a jersey of the nation's soccer team.

A United Nations panel concluded in 2016 that Assange was under arbitrary detention.

Moreno issued a warning reminding Assange not to meddle in politics. The entry shows that the country issued the passport on December 21st, nearly three weeks ago - and more than two weeks before Espinosa asked for assistance in getting Assange out of their embassy.

The big question is what's taking Ecuador so long to get rid of Assange, and whether they're so desperate to get him out of the embassy that they'd really want to house him permanently as the only option. According to London's Metropolitan Police, he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy building.

This sparks speculation that Assange is about to end his self-imposed exile.

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