Unasur calls for dialogue to solve the controversy between Ecuador and the UK
The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) called for dialogue to solve the crisis between Ecuador and Great Britain regarding the diplomatic asylum granted by the Andean country to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who is holed in at the embassy in London.
Foreign ministers of the bloc, meeting on Sunday in Guayaquil, expressed their solidarity and support to Ecuador and urged both countries “to keep talks in order to find a mutually acceptable solution”, according to a document read by Unasur Secretary General Alí Rodríguez.
The ministers declared their solidarity and support to Ecuador’s government as it faces the threat of the violation of its diplomatic venue in London, and reiterated Ecuador’s sovereign right to grant asylum.
Likewise, they blasted the threat of use of force between states and recalled ”the principle of international law, by which the UK cannot hold to domestic law in order not to abide by an obligation of international law”.
Foreign Ministers of Ecuador (Ricardo Patiño), Venezuela (Nicolás Maduro), Colombia (María Angela Holguín), Uruguay (Luis Almagro), Peru (Rafael Rocagliolo) and Argentina (Héctor Timerman) took part of the meeting.
On Saturday ministers from ALBA, (Bolivarian alliance of our Americas) met in Guayaquil convened by Ecuador with the purpose of addressing the diplomatic dispute and alleged British threat of breaking into the embassy to arrest Assange.
ALBA is a regional alliance created by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and includes Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, St Vincent and Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. All members had anticipated the solidarity and support for Ecuador following the UK’s threat of raiding the Ecuadorean embassy in London to arrest Assange.
Last Thursday ALBA in an official communiqué blasted “UK threats against the integrity of the Ecuadorean embassy in London”, adding their full solidarity with Ecuador and warning of “the serious consequences that the execution of the threat would have for relations with ALBA countries”.
However Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday denied “any threats to take the (Ecuadorean) embassy by assault”. The Foreign Office later said that they were interested in working with the Ecuadoreans “to resolve the issue in a friendly manner”.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Assange can remain in the embassy in London indefinitely, following the UK decision to deny him a safe-conduct.
“The problem is that the UK wont’ grant a safe-conduct and Mr. Assange could have to spend time indefinitely in our embassy”, said Correa during a visit to the south of Ecuador.
In its final release ALBA members said they reject “the intimidating threats” from British spoke-persons because they “violate the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations and the principles of International Law”.
It also condemned the UK position of “pretending to solve in a manner contrary to International Law controversies with the nations from the world, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Finally ALBA called on all governments of the world, social movements, intellectuals and academia “to oppose this new pretension from the UK government to impose its will by force to the sovereign nations of the world”.
On Friday the Organization of American States voted to convene Foreign ministers on Friday 24 in Washington to discuss the diplomatic controversy between Ecuador and the UK, specifically the inviolability of embassy and consular premised according to the international law and the Vienna convention.