London: British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Thursday said Britain would not provide WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange safe passage but admitted that there cannot be a time limit to resolve the imbroglio, indicating that the stand-off between the UK and Ecuador may last for a long time.
Britain did not recognise the concept of "diplomatic asylum", and added Britain remained determined to carry out its legal obligation to extradite Assange, Hague told reporters after Ecuador granted "diplomatic asylum" to Assange.
Hague is the cabinet minister "in-charge" of the government in the absence of Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who are on holiday.
Hague said: "This could go on for some considerable time.... We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so. The UK does not recognise the principle of diplomatic asylum."
Earlier in the day, Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced the granting of asylum to Assange in a televised news conference in capital Quito.
Assange said he was grateful to the country for granting him asylum.


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