Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa dismissed an offer of residency that a lower level official made to the embattled founder of the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.
The offer by Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas on Monday “has not been approved by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino – or the president,” Mr Correa told reporters.
Mr Patino already had indicated that the leftist government was backing away from providing refuge for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying it “will have to be studied from the legal and diplomatic perspective”.
Mr Lucas had said that Ecuador was open to giving Mr Assange residence “without any kind of trouble and without any kind of conditions”.
The 39-year-old Australian has incensed Washington and many other governments by releasing hundreds of sensitive diplomatic cables.
He had sought residency in Sweden. But a court there has ordered him detained for questioning on sexual assault allegations. Mr Assange denies the allegations.