Relations between the Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are becoming "incredibly strained" over the latter's involvement in the Edward Snowden affair, the Independent has learned.
If unresolved, the tensions - which were confirmed by a Quito source today - could bring into question Mr Assange's own position within the Andean nation's London embassy. He claimed asylum there more than a year ago in order to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa was furious with his own diplomat Fidel Narvaez, who - in conjunction with Mr Assange - organised the handing of a safe passage letter to Mr Snowden. He called the move, which was apparently made without consulting the central government, a "serious error", for which the consul was likely to be punished. And WikiLeaks' involvement in the debacle also angered Quito.A WikiLeaks volunteer was reportedly accompanying Mr Snowden, who is believed to still be in the transit area of a Russian airport.