U.K. urges talks with Ecuador over WikiLeaks founder

Britain's foreign secretary says Ecuador, which has sheltered Julian Assange since June 19, must quickly resume negotiations over the fate of the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange took shelter inside Ecuador Embassy in mid-June

Men hold up a sign with an image of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that reads in Spanish that Ecuador has its kingdom of peace, human rights, sovereignty, dignity and freedom of expression, during a demonstration in support of the asylum granted by Ecuador to Assange in Quito. (Dolores Ochoa/Associated Press)

British Foreign Secretary William Hague says Ecuador must quickly resume negotiations over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange, who is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sex crimes allegations, has been sheltering inside Ecuador's Embassy in London — beyond the reach of British police — since June 19.

Ecuador has offered Assange asylum, but he will be arrested if he sets foot outside the embassy.

Hague said Monday that Ecuador should resume talks "as early as possible."

"Our two countries should be able to find a diplomatic solution," Hague wrote in a statement.

Assange claims the Swedish sex case is merely the opening gambit in a plot to make him stand trial in the United States over his work with WikiLeaks, a claim Sweden rejects.