04:06 GMT22 January 2021
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    Ecuador's Foreign Minister José Valencia told media on Tuesday that his country has no responsibility to assist Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in his legal negotiations with the United Kingdom. Assange has taken asylum inside Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012.

    The foreign minister also expressed Ecuador's 'frustration' with Assange's lawsuit against Ecuador over conditions of his asylum. He has been unable to leave to embassy since taking refuge there and was barred from the internet since March and his right to receive visitors and phone calls was later rescinded.

    "For him to take legal action against them risks creating an extremely hostile relationship, which could, of course, provoke the Ecuadorian authorities to take further measures against him," Wikileaks commentator and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told Sputnik News.

    The lawsuit, filed on Monday, accuses Ecuador of "violating his fundamental rights and freedoms.” 

    "We know that in recent weeks there've been several requests for Assange to have a visit from his lawyers, which have been turned down by the Ecuadorian authorities. They've also blocked a visit by a representative from Human Rights Watch," he added.

    Valencia said that Ecuador's only responsibility was to ensure the well-being of Assange, who ceded the position of Wikileaks editor over to Kristinn Hrafnsson in September following the months-long internet blackout.

    In July, the BBC reported that Ecuador and the United Kingdom were holding ongoing talks over the fate of Assange, who is in the asylum under the impression that he risks being extradited to Sweden. US Senators have also called for Assange to testify in connection the special counsel investigation into whether there was collusion between President Trump and the Russian Federation.

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