Foreign ministers of South America’s 12-nation union have condemned Britain’s alleged threat to forcibly enter the Ecuadorean embassy in London and arrest the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.The ministers “condemned the threat of the use of force between states” and reiterated “the right of states to concede asylum”, the statement said. They also urged the parties to follow the “path of dialogue and direct negotiations” to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the impasse.

Julian Assange: UK embassy ‘threat’ angers South American leaders

Unasur group, which includes Argentina and Venezuela, attacks alleged plan to enter building and arrest WikiLeaks leader

  • Unasur meeting in Guayaquil
Julian Assange gives a speech from the balcony of Ecuador’s embassy, as police wait outside. Photograph: Rosie Hallam/Getty Images

Foreign ministers of South America’s 12-nation union have condemned Britain’s alleged threat to forcibly enter the Ecuadorean embassy in London and arrest the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

A brief statement by the ministers did not, however, endorse Ecuador‘s decision to grant asylum to Assange, who is wanted by Sweden for questioning about allegations of sexual misconduct. The ministers of the Unasur group issued the statement after they met in Guayaquil, Ecuador, at the host nation’s request. The group’s general secretary, Ali Rodriguez of Venezuela, said the meeting lasted 20 minutes.

The ministers “condemned the threat of the use of force between states” and reiterated “the right of states to concede asylum”, the statement said. They also urged the parties to follow the “path of dialogue and direct negotiations” to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the impasse.

Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy for two months and Britain is refusing him safe passage out of the country. The alleged British threat came in a diplomatic letter delivered to Ecuador on Wednesday, a day before it granted Assange asylum.

Britain later said it had no intention of storming the embassy, which would breach the 1961 Vienna convention, which declares foreign embassies inviolate.

Unasur’s gathering came a day after the regional Alba group of leftist governments also held a meeting in Guayaquil, at which Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina all endorsed Ecuador’s asylum decision about Assange.

Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Chile are among Latin American nations that have not taken a stand.

Ecuador says it granted asylum because neither Britain nor Sweden would offer guarantees they would not allow Assange’s extradition to the US. Supporters of Assange say they fear he has been secretly indicted by a grand jury in the US.

The Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, says there is sufficient reason to fear the Australian ex-hacker who published the largest trove of US secrets ever in 2010 would be denied due process in the US and could face life in prison or even the death penalty.

“If we compare the arguments of the two countries, right is on our side,” Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said, comparing his nation to Britain.

He said that Ecuador had not decided whether to appeal to the UN over the dispute, adding that he would await the outcome of a meeting on Friday in Washington. Foreign ministers of the Organisation of American States, which includes the US and Canada, will discuss the matter at the meeting.

Retired US diplomat Myles Frechette, an expert on the region, said he doesn’t expect any kind of consensus in support of Ecuador’s decision to give Assange asylum. “While some of the governments in the region will cheer Correa’s little guy exposure of US arrogance in commenting on some of the actions of other governments (in diplomatic cables published online by WikiLeaks), some like Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Peru want to be taken seriously as internationally credible interlocutors,” Frechette said.

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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