Assange appears in Ecuador database, spurring citizenship speculation

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Ecuador seeks mediator to resolve 'untenable' Julian Assange standoff: Foreign minister

Ecuador says it has granted citizenship to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as officials try to find a way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London without risking legal action.

'The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.

Mr Assange faces arrest for breaking his bail conditions if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy, where he has resided since 2012, claiming asylum.

April 21, 2017: US Attorney General states that Assange's arrest is now a US "priority".

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According to the AP, the British government said Thursday that it would not grant diplomatic status to Assange.

ECUADOR wants Julian Assange out of its embassy in London and is seeking a "third country or a personality" to mediate a final settlement with Britain. He added that, as the South American authorities know, the only way for Assange to resolve is to leave the embassy and face the court. The passport was reportedly granted to him on December 12.

Assange fears without the safety of the diplomatic immunity, the looming threat of extradition by the U.S government would result in his arrest and trial as the country's justice department was considering pressing several charges against Assange. Moreno said of Assange, "I respect the situation he is in, which calls for respect of his human rights, but we also ask that he respects the situation he is in". Ms. Espinosa said Ecuadorean officials were hoping to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom that would allow Mr. Assange to leave.

Later, the WikiLeaks founder tweeted an image of himself wearing Ecuador's national football team shirt.

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Mr Assange has been in the small embassy in Knightsbridge ever since.

A United Nations panel ruled in 2016 that he was being "arbitrarily detained" and should be allowed to walk free. 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.

What has changed is Assange's value to Ecuador as a political symbol.

Assange's relationship with Ecuador has strained in recent years, most notably since the appointment of president Lenin Moreno in 2017 who warned him he "cannot meddle in national and worldwide politics", especially in regards to "politics of countries that are our friends".

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

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