Assange calls for 'witch-hunt' to end

THERE seems to be no end in sight to the stand-off between the United Kingdom and Ecuador over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's bid for asylum in the South American nation.

Mr Assange made his first public statement in two months late on Sunday night (Australian time) from the balcony of the Ecuador Embassy in London , calling for an end to the "witch-hunt" of his activist website.

But the statement has not materially changed the stalemate, with Mr Assange remaining in Ecuador's London embassy as the UK continues to wait for the chance to extradite him to face questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr has continued to offer consular help to Mr Assange.

However, while many of Mr Assange's supporters have looked to the government to intervene, the government is going to pains to avoid getting too deeply involved in the diplomatic firestorm surrounding him.

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