Ecuador: Correa weighs up Assange’s asylum request
Ecuadorian officials contemplate Assange’s asylum request; plans developed to increase transport of oil from Colombia’s Pacific coast.
Julian Assange’s asylum request is weighed up in Ecuador
Ecuadorian Ambassador Anna Alban flew to Quito this week for talks with President Correa as Julian Assange’s political asylum request remained pending.
Politicians weighed up the pros and cons of accepting Assange’s request , which would possibly create tension with Britain, Sweden and the United States.
The WikiLeaks founder arrived at Ecuador’s embassy on 19 June requesting asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration. This is his latest attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex offences. He also faces arrest for breaching the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.
Assange, whose WikiLeaks website published leaked diplomatic cables involving several governments and international businesses, denies all charges. Ex-US Ambassador Heather Hodges in Ecuador was declared persona non grata after revelations from one of the WikiLeaks cable, criticising Correa’s government.
According to an embassy statement, Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian Government while the department assesses his application.
Meanwhile Correa has said he is considering the request, but stressed that the decision would not be rushed, and has recalled Ecuador’s ambassador in London to brief him on the situation. Latin American countries have adopted a common convention on diplomatic asylum, but it is believed that its benefits will not cover Assange’s request.
Ecuador plans to increase transport oil from Colombia
Ecuador’s pipeline company Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados – OCP (Heavy Crude Oil) plans to start transporting some 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Colombian crude this year and may expand its network to transport up to 150,000 bpd in three years.
The Heavy Crude Oil’s 475-kilometre pipeline will increase the number of barrels of oil transported to Ecuador from the Pacific coast of Colombia and has planned a number of partnerships with Colombian oil companies.