Assange must reduce ‘meddling’ in US policies while in Ecuadorian embassy – Moreno to RT (EXCLUSIVE)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is sheltered in Ecuador’s embassy in London, should reduce meddling in the policies of countries Ecuador has friendly relations with, the frontrunner for Ecuador’s presidential elections, Lenin Moreno, told RT.
“We granted Assange political asylum because his life was in danger. We don’t have the death penalty in Ecuador. We saw that a citizen of the world – it doesn’t matter who he is – was in danger. That’s why we granted him asylum and it was by and large preserved. I say ‘by and large,’ because it all could have been done more competently by the country on which territory he is now. One thing that is clear is that Assange will have to reduce meddling in the policies of the nations we have friendly relations with,” Moreno said in an exclusive interview with RT Spanish.
Expanding on his comment, Moreno said that he specifically meant “the way he [Assange] meddled with the election campaign in the United States.”
“I think one shouldn’t do that while at the embassy,” Moreno said.
“If you invite me to your place, I shouldn’t say bad things about your friends. If you give me shelter and I enjoy your hospitality, I should also show you respect,” said Moreno, who was a nominee for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
He pointed out that when Assange was offered political refuge in the embassy, no conditions were set.
“But [now] we will set them,” he said. “And one of the conditions will be to not meddle into the policies of the countries we are friends with. The same as we do not meddle in their policies. Every country has the right to self-determination and sovereignty,” he said.
If WikiLeaks’ founder fails to comply with those conditions, Moreno said there will be a discussion on Assange’s future asylum.
“We would have to think about that, but as I’ve said, I’m a proponent of dialogue, and we will discuss everything.”
Moreno, who is so far leading in the count in the presidential elections in Ecuador which took place Sunday, may still have to face a second round of voting against his rival, former banker Guillermo Lasso, of the Conservative party.
Moreno, a disabled former vice president, received 39.12 percent of valid votes out of 40 percent needed to win outright, the official preliminary election count, issued on Monday morning, showed, Reuters reported. Lasso, in turn, had 28.30 percent of the votes. At that point, 88.5 percent of votes were counted.