With such international fanfare around the United Nations gatherings in New York this week, it’s hard to imagine someone like wanted WikiLeaker Julian Assange missing out.
It appears he won’t have to, even if he’s still holed up in Ecuador’s Embassy in London, still wanted for questioning on alleged sex crimes in Sweden, still barred from red-carpet asylum in the South American country of his dreams.
Assange’s promised land, Ecuador, has offered him yet another golden ticket — this time to participate via video in an asylum conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly events on Wednesday.
Sidelines? Yes, Mr. Assange. In what once seemed an improbable turn, major world developments have eclipsed your predicament since your embassy occupancy sparked an unlikely spat between Ecuador and the United Kingdom.
So what of that spat? Nothing’s changed, still at an impasse, says William Hague, the UK’s foreign minister.
“I’ve seen no sign of any breakthrough since our meeting,” Hague told reporters in New York, referring to a powwow with Ecuadorean Vice President Lenin Moreno in August. Hague continued, according to a report by news wire AFP picked up by The Sydney Morning Herald, saying, “The position was to uphold the law in the United Kingdom. That remains the position. This may go on for some time.”
The report said Hague is due to meet this time with his Ecuadorean counterpart, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, on Thursday. But Hague made no mention of Wednesday’s Assange chat.
On Tuesday, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry announced the event calling it a forum on “Diplomatic Asylum: strengthening the international system of human rights.”
It might have to be more of a crash course. Most countries represented at the UN have no legislation on diplomatic asylum, as opposed to the more common political asylum, different in a number of ways Assange et al can take this opportunity to enlighten them on.
Showtime: 6 p.m., UN, New York City, to be streamed online by RT.
The Twittersphere is revved up: