US refuses to recognize diplomatic asylum of Assange

August 18th, 2012 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) The US government Friday refused to recognize the diplomatic asylum that Ecuador granted to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as the Organization of American States (OAS) considers convening a meeting on the issue.

“The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland in a statement.

“We believe this is a bilateral issue between Ecuador and the United Kingdom and that the OAS has no role to play in this matter,” she added.

According to the OAS website, the organization is considering convening a foreign ministerial meeting Aug 23 in Washington on the issue which has triggered a diplomatic row between Quito and London.

Washington has been furious about Assange’s WikiLeaks which in 2010 disclosed tens of thousands of US war documents relating to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the diplomatic cables.

The 41-year-old Australian has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 19 to avoid extradition.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced his country’s decision Thursday to grant Assange political asylum.

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