Soon after Ecuador announced that it had offered political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Britain on Thursday said it was under “binding obligation” to extradite him to Sweden to face charges of sex offences.
The Foreign Office said on Twitter: “We are disappointed by the statement from Ecuador’s Foreign Minister that Ecuador has offered political asylum to Julian Assange.
“We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act.”
It said: “We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian Government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.
“Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal UK authorities are under binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden.”
The Foreign Office said it was “still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution” and added that throughout it had drawn Ecuador’s attention to relevant provisions of British our law.
Earlier, Britain said it had powers under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act, 1987, to withdraw Ecuador embassy’s diplomatic status and then enter the building to arrest Mr. Assange and extradite him to Sweden.