FILE- In this Friday May 19, 2017 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Britain's Foreign Office said Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 it has rejected Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to Assange, who has been living in the nation's embassy in London since 2012 to avoid arrest by U.K. authorities. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Ecuador grants nationality to WikiLeaks founder

January 11, 2018 - 11:16 am

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum at the nation's embassy in London for more than five years.

The nation's foreign minister announced Thursday that officials had decided to permit Assange's naturalization while they look for ways to resolve his situation.

Ecuador gave Assange political asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation of sex-related claims.

Sweden dropped the case, though Assange has remained in the embassy because he is still subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail.

Britain's Foreign Office said Thursday it had rejected Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to Assange, who was born in Australia.

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