Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has said it would be diplomatic "suicide" for the UK to enter his country's London embassy, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is holed up.
Speaking for the first time since his country offered refuge to Assange, who has been living in the embassy for two months, Correa said if police entered the building it would open up Britain's embassies to threats around the world.
His comments come after Ecuador claimed the UK government had threatened to storm the London embassy to arrest the WikiLeaks founder, who faces accusations of sex crimes in Sweden.
Last week Ecuador granted Assange political asylum citing the possibility he could be subject to "cruel treatment" in a "third country."
Speaking on state TV, Correa said he would be willing to take the case to the UN.
“It would be a suicide for the United Kingdom to enter the Ecuadorean embassy because then people could enter their diplomatic premises all around the world and they wouldn't be able to say a thing,"" he said.
"Remember that David beat Goliath. And with many Davids it's easier to bring down a number of Goliaths.
"So we're hoping for clear and coherent backing because this violates all inter-American law, all international law, the Vienna Convention and all diplomatic traditions of the last, at least, 300 years on a global scale."
And Correa questioned the British government's commitment to extradite Assange, saying: "The British say they have no choice but to extradite him but why didn't they extradite Augusto Pinochet?."
Assange's mother has said Britain's treatment of the 40-year-old Australian has "exposed the UK as a puppet state of the US."
Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino warned entering the embassy would require a response with "greater diplomatic force." Patino said it would "be interpreted by Ecuador as a hostile and intolerable act and also as an attack on our sovereignty."
On Monday evening a former UK ambassador named one of the women involved in the sexual assault claims against Julian Assange during a debate on BBC Newsnight.
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