Ecuador says exploring mediation to solve Assange standoff

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But Assange still faces arrest for breaching bail conditions if he steps outside the embassy and WikiLeaks has voiced fears that the U.S. will seek his extradition and that there is a sealed indictment ordering his arrest.

It is a stand-off that should never have begun.

Assange, who has received numerous visitors to his modest quarters in the embassy, ranging from Nigel Farage to Lady Gaga, has described the period since his initial arrest as a "terrible injustice". It has cost British taxpayers more than £11 million in wages and overtime for extra police assigned to the embassy, and it has outlasted the tenures of two ambassadors.

Swedish prosecutors earlier this year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into the allegations, which included a claim of rape.

WikiLeaks has previously claimed that Assange could be extradited to the USA, where he could be arrested for publishing hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. army war logs and more recently, the DNC emails, that some believe may have changed the course of the United States presidential election in 2016. However, he still faces arrest by British police for violating the terms of his 2012 bail.

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"A person can not live in those conditions for ever", Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa has been quoted as saying.

Ecuador is now looking for a third person or entity to help negotiate Assange's safe transit to somewhere else.

Espinosa says her country is seeking solutions, saying the situation "is not sustainable".

"We have an enormous interest in finding a definitive solution to the Assange case and for that to happen, we're in a permanent dialogue with the government of the United Kingdom", Espinosa said.

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