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Organization of American States to Meet Over UK's Threats to Seize Assange From Embassy

Common Dreams staff

A Julian Assange supporter holds a sign as police guard the Ecuadoran embassy in London on August 18. (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

The Organization of American States (OAS) is set to meet next week over the UK's threat to storm the Ecuador's embassy in London to seize Julian Assange.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said the meeting would be about "the problem posed by the threat or warning made to Ecuador by the possibility of an intervention into its embassy in London. The issue that concerns us is the inviolability of diplomatic missions of all members of this organisation, something that is of interest to all of us."

Mark Weisbrot, co-director for the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), has called the UK's threat's "unprecedented" and says that “the UK government would not resort to such extreme threats if this case were really just about a foreign citizen who was wanted for questioning – not criminal charges or a trial – in a neighboring country. Clearly there are other motives involved.”

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, said that Ecuador's asylum to Assange was a "matter of regret" and added: "We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so." 

"No one, least of all the government of Ecuador, should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation to see Mr Assange extradited to Sweden," Hague told a press conference.

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