The situation surrounding Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's request for political asylum in Ecuador has taken another twist after the Ecuadorian government accused the UK government of threatening to violate its diplomatic immunity.
The South American nation accused the UK government of making threats that it may enter the embassy to remove Assange and warned that any such actions would be "improper of a democratic, civilised and rule-abiding country", according to the BBC.
"Today we received from the United Kingdom an express threat, in writing, that they might storm our embassy in London if we don't hand over Julian Assange," said Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, at a conference in Quito on Wednesday.
"If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond.
"We are not a British colony."
The outraged response was caused by a letter sent by the UK government to the Ecuadorian embassy that said legal provisions existed that gave the right to extract Assange without the embassy's permission.
"You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take action in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy," it read.
"We sincerely hope that we do not reach that point, but if you are not capable of resolving this matter of Mr Assange's presence in your premises, this is an open option for us."
The saga around Assange has been rumbling on for more than two years as he fights extradition to Sweden over charges related to alleged sex crimes. However, Assange contends that these charges are a smokescreen for plans to ultimately deport him to the US to face prosecution over sensitive content released by Wikileaks.
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