BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- A war of words between the West and Ecuador is escalating as the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is stuck in a diplomatic tug-of-war.
London's threat to storm Ecuador's embassy was "condemned and rejected" by Ecuador's National Assembly on Friday, saying that it would "constitute an attack on national sovereignty and a violation of the principles of international law."
On the same day, a WikiLeaks spokesman said any bid to enter the embassy would "risk upsetting diplomatic relations all over the world."
Assange's lawyer Baltasar Garzon also told reporters that Britain must honor Assange's right to asylum and guarantee him safe passage.
"It is true that one must abide by what judges decided in Sweden, but the regulations on the right to asylum as a fundamental right also obligate them to grant priority status to asylum granted by a third country," Garzon said.
Garzon added Assange would take the case to the International Court of Justice if Britain refuses to allow him safe passage to Ecuador.
Meanwhile, both Ecuador and Sweden hinted they were patiently waiting for the final settlement of the dispute.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Friday that Assange will remain in Quito's embassy as long as Britain refuses to give him safe passage.
"The problem is that they aren't going to give him the safe conduct," Correa said in a radio interview. "Mr Assange can stay indefinitely in our embassy."
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Sweden's TT news agency that "we have no reason to do too much, we're going to wait and see what happens."
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced Thursday the decision to grant political asylum to Assange, whose website angered the United States by publishing a vast number of secret government files.
Supporters of the secret-spilling organization feared that if Assange were extradited to Sweden on two sexual assault charges, he would be handed over to the United States, since Sweden has never promised not to send Assange to a third country for other charges.
But Britain said it would not grant Assange safe passage out of the country and warned that a diplomatic standoff could go on for years.
"No one, least of all the government of Ecuador, should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation to see Mr. Assange extradited to Sweden," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at a press conference.
The United States also said on Friday that it did not believe in "diplomatic asylum."
"The United States does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the State Department said in a statement.