, LONDON, Aug 16 – Ecuador’s decision to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange does not change Britain’s “obligation” to extradite him to Sweden, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
Commenting on the “disappointing” decision, a spokeswoman said: “Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden.
“We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.”
The spokeswoman added: “We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act.”
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador was granting asylum to Assange two months after he took refuge in the south American country’s embassy in London.
Assange, whose website has angered the United States by revealing tens of thousands of secret documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested in London in December 2010 on a warrant from Sweden.
Swedish authorities want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women.