ECUADOR'S Foreign Minister will meet with his British counterpart in an effort to resolve the diplomatic impasse over WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
However, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has declared the Australian government will play no part in negotiations about the WikiLeaks publisher's fate.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino plans to ask British Foreign Secretary William Hague to grant Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom in a bid to end the stand-off over Ecuador's decision to give him diplomatic asylum in the South American republic's London embassy.
Mr Patino told a human rights forum at the United Nations headquarters in New York that he will meet with Mr Hague on Thursday (Friday, Melbourne time) for the first direct talks between Britain and Ecuador since Assange was granted asylum last month.
Ecuador accepted Assange's claims of political persecution by the US government and fears that if extradited to Sweden to be questioned about sexual assault allegations he will be at risk of further extradition to the US to face prosecution relating to the leakage of secret US military and diplomatic reports.
''What we are going to ask is that [the UK] will grant him safe passage so his asylum can be effective,'' Mr Patino said.
''The other question that's in the air is: what if they don't grant him safe conduct? Do we want to keep him 10 years in our embassy? Assange would have to live there for 10 years without having the right to his life, his personal life, intimacy, the right to mobility.''
Fairfax Media reported yesterday that declassified US counter-espionage reports revealed the US military consider WikiLeaks to be an ''enemy'' under the terms of US military law.
Speaking via videolink to a human rights forum in New York, Assange called on the US government to drop its long-running espionage investigation targeting WikiLeaks.
''For all [President] Barack Obama's fine words [at the UN on Tuesday] … it is his administration that boasts … of criminalising more speech than all previous US presidents combined,'' Assange said.
''It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people, and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources. It is time for President Obama do the right thing … not in fine words but in fine deeds.''
Foreign Minister Carr dismissed Assange's speech, labelling it as nothing more than a ''stunt'', and indicated he had no intention of discussing the issue with Ecuadorean representatives.
Documents released under freedom-of-information legislation to Fairfax Media this week confirm that Australian officials have been anxious to avoid any diplomatic embarrassment to the US through the release of Australian diplomatic cables relating to Assange.
However, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's senior FOI adviser, Lyndall McLean, expressed confidence that ''given the level of redactions, I doubt there would be any US objections to what we are proposing''.
To read Julian Assange's full speech to the UN, click here.