Revealed: U.K. Government Role in Forcing Assange from Ecuadorian EmbassyMay 1 (EIRNS)

Ron Wieczorek

tS9pontsohrmerd  · Revealed: U.K. Government Role in Forcing Assange from Ecuadorian EmbassyMay 1 (EIRNS)—Declassified UK has released its findings about the British government’s long-term operation to eject Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Relying on documents leaked to them, as well as on the diaries of Sir Alan Duncan—a former Foreign Office minister—Declassified UK reports that over a year before Assange’s expulsion, Prime Minister Theresa May was told to butter up the new Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno.Going back to 2016, Alan Duncan writes that he had met the foreign minister of President Correa, who insisted on maintaining Assange’s asylum, granted in 2012. Duncan lamented in his diary that the foreign minister “defends the supposed human rights of Julian Assange.”After Lenín Moreno came to power in May 2017, a more hopeful Duncan met with Prime Minister Theresa May in March 2018, giving her some advice: “She might want to butter up President Moreno.” Two weeks later, he wrote: “I think I am nearly there with Ecuador to get Julian Assange out of their London embassy. It’s taken months of delicate negotiations, but nearly nearly….”In September 2018, Duncan called Ecuador’s new Foreign Minister José Valencia. “We both want Assange out of the embassy,” he wrote, “but the Ecuador government won’t quite yet take the necessary final step for fear of the domestic reaction.”On Jan. 8, 2019, Duncan met the new Ecuadorian Ambassador to London, writing that “His principal mission is to get Assange out of the embassy—it has been six years—and although he had been aiming for tomorrow, as I’d just learnt it’s going to take longer. A tad frustrating, but we’ll get there.” Duncan then updated Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the discussion.Watching by video from the Foreign Office’s Operations Room, Duncan saw Assange’s extraction from the embassy, concluding happily: “So, job done at last—and we take a commemorative photo of Team Pelican [devoted to removing Assange]. It had taken many months of patient diplomatic negotiation, and in the end it went off without a hitch. I do millions of interviews, trying to keep the smirk off my face.”Duncan then helped create the media frenzy about Assange’s supposedly fetid manner of living, including photos of—gasp!—unwashed dishes.In May 2019, one month after Assange’s removal from the embassy, Britain’s Trade Minister George Hollingbery flew to Quito to sign the U.K.-Andean Countries Trade Agreement. A coincidence?Finally, on July 15, 2019, Duncan was in Ecuador to meet with President Moreno: “Visiting him to say thank you is an essential conclusion to the Assange episode and he exudes goodwill and warmth. He loves the U.K., and I gave him a beautiful porcelain plate from the Buckingham Palace gift shop. Job done.”

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