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  • Possible hand-over of Julian Assange to the UK may be imminent.

    Possible hand-over of Julian Assange to the UK may be imminent. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 July 2018

The status of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former president Rafael Correa are not official points in Moreno's agenda but reports indicate otherwise.

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno will visit the United Kingdom and Spain between July 22 and 28 as speculation continues over the futures of former president Rafael Correa and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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His visit to the U.K. is not an official one, and he is not expected to meet with any high-ranking officers. Instead, he will participate in the Global Disability Summit, scheduled for July 24, and co-hosted by the U.K. government, the International Disability Alliance and the government of Kenya.

Although Moreno’s government has not confirmed whether he will discuss Julian Assange’s asylum situation at any point, local newspaper El Comercio reports high-level talks between Ecuador and the U.K. have been taking place to decide the future of the WikiLeaks founder, who has been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London.

The South American country is reportedly prepared to hand over the WikiLeaks founder to the UK in “coming weeks or even days,” according to RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

“My sources tell [Julian] Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days,” Simonyan wrote in a recent tweet which was reposted by WikiLeaks. “Like never before, I wish my sources were wrong,” she added.

These speculations are taking place as the U.K. foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, threatened WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, daring him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy, where he has lived since 2012 to avoid possible extradition to the United States. 

Hunt said, “At any time he wants to he is free to walk out onto the street of, and the British police will have a warm welcome for him.”

In the U.K. Assange is facing only a minor charge for failing to turn up to a court hearing.

Another point in Moreno’s agenda might be former president Rafael Correa. According to Andres Michelena, Secretary of Communications, the government has put together a team to counter the narrative promoted by Correa that he is a victim of political persecution.

A court in Ecuador linked Correa to the alleged kidnapping of former opposition legislator Fernando Balda. Correa had expressed his willingness to collaborate with the investigations, but the court later demanded his periodic appearance before a court in Quito rather than in the consulate in Belgium, where Correa resides.

After refusing, Ecuador requested an Interpol red alert for his extradition

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Last week the leader of the Spanish party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, argued the detention order was part of a trend of judicializing politics in the region.

After the events in the U.K. Moreno will head to Spain, where he is expected to meet Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Spain.

Moreno will be accompanied by his wife, Rocio Gonzalez, who he appointed as president of Toda Una Vida social plan and a dozen Ecuadorean officials.  


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