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UK, Ecuador fail to reach deal on Julian Assange

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June 17, 2013 09:04 AM EST | AP

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LONDON — Britain and Ecuador have failed to break the deadlock over the unresolved asylum case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday to search for a diplomatic solution over Assange, who has been holed up inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for almost a year. They agreed to set up a working group to work on the issue and to continue communicating.

Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual misconduct. Ecuador has granted him political asylum, but Britain refuses to grant him safe passage.

Ecuador says Assange faces a threat of political persecution from the U.S. for publishing a trove of secret U.S. documents.