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U.S. refuses to recognize diplomatic asylum of WikiLeaks founder

(Xinhua)

16:03, August 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government on Friday refused to recognize the diplomatic asylum that Ecuador granted to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as the Organization of American States (OAS) is considering 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 on 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 the 2010 disclosed tens of thousands of U.S. 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 on Thursday to grant Assange political asylum.
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