LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Julian Assange (C), the founder of the whistle-blowing 'WikiLeaks,' arrives at the High Court before winning the right to petition the UK Supreme Court to review his extradition to Sweden on December 5, 2011 in London, England. Last month Mr Assange lost a High Court challenge to his extradition to Sweden where he is due to face charges of sex offenses. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)2011 Getty Images
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may find himself in the same predicament as NSA leaker Edward Snowden — searching for a new place to call home.
Assange has been safely holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London the past year – and was even granted political asylum by the South American country. But London keeps playing hardball.
Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday to search for a diplomatic solution over Assange, but the two sides have failed to break the deadlock over the ongoing case.
Ecuador wants Assange to be allowed to safely travel to its country without fear of arrest, but the British government claims it is legally required to extradite Assange to Sweden.
"This is a complex case in which the reputations of many countries are at stake," Michel Levi, a foreign policy analyst at Quito's Simon Bolivar Andina University, told the BBC. "Such a case required a more experienced diplomatic representation that could coordinate the situation better."
Ecuador and Britain have agreed to set up a group to work on the issue and to continue communicating.
Ecuador says Assange faces a threat of political persecution from the U.S. for publishing a trove of secret U.S. documents.
London has taken steps to make sure it doesn’t find itself in the same position with Snowden, the former NSA contractor who remains in hiding in Hong Kong.
Last week, the British government warned airlines around the world not to allow Snowden, who leaked information on top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs, to fly to the United Kingdom.
A travel alert said carriers should deny Snowden boarding because "the individual is highly likely to be refused entry to the U.K."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.