Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said Friday that WikiLeaks founder would ultimately have to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he took refuge in 2012 to avoid extradition to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for espionage and treason.
Describing the Assange case as an inherited problem Moreno told journalist at breakfast event in Madrid, Spain his government was: "Permanently speaking with the British government, with the ambassador, their representative in Ecuador. The only person I have never spoken to is Mr. Assange."
There has been much speculation in recent weeks on the possibility of Ecuador handing over Assange to the British government to face minor charges for failing to appear at a scheduled hearing linked to the sexual assault accusation that has already been dropped in Sweden.
“The issue is that it is a situation that cannot be prolonged eternally, at some point he needs to be granted an exit” a Spanish journalist commented. To which Moreno said: "Yes, by all means. But that exit has to happen through dialogue. If we say dialogue is the best tool for agreement and understanding, then we should be the first to put it in practice."
The president also confirmed that the Ecuadorean government has been in permanent dialogue with the British government to find a way out of the situation.
Moreno also said while strongly disagrees with Assange’s work he is interested in preserving his life and guarantees are being sort to make sure his life isn't at risk.
“I've never agreed with the activity Mr. Assange performs, I’ve never agreed with the intervention in people’s emails to obtain information despite how valuable it is to shed light on some undesirable acts by governments and people… There are correct and legal ways to it,” Moreno said.
He added: "The only thing we want is a guarantee that his life will not be in danger. We have spoken to, and of course, we are dealing with this with Mr. Assange's legal team and with the British government."
In 2010, Assange leaked a series of videos and secret documents revealing the illegal actions of the U.S. government in Iraq. He also shared documents showing U.S. interference in other countries, murders, torture, and espionage.