Ecuador orders additional security retreat from its embassy in London

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of additional security assigned to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has remained for almost six years.

The Australian took refuge in the small diplomatic headquarters in 2012 to avoid charges of sexual abuse in Sweden. He rejects the charges and prosecutors have abandoned their investigation.

However, the British authorities are still seeking his arrest.

"The President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, has ordered that any additional security in the Ecuadorian embassy in London be withdrawn immediately," the government said in a statement.

"From now on, it will maintain normal security similar to that of other Ecuadorian embassies," the statement said.

Ecuador suspended Assange's communication systems in March after his sharp political comments on Twitter.

Moreno described Assange's situation as "a stone in his shoe".

Report of Alexandra Valencia in Quito Written by Girish Gupta Edited by Paul Tait

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