The Ecuadorian government has told the Swedish authorities they can interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London in a move aimed at breaking the deadlock over his future.
The 40-year-old has been taking refuge inside the embassy in Knightsbridge since June 19 when he announced he was seeking political asylum.
The Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published secret US diplomatic cables, is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex crime allegations. He denies the claims but faces arrest for breaching the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.
Sources at the embassy revealed that an approach was made to the authorities in Sweden on Wednesday, offering them the chance to interview Mr Assange about the allegations.
An approach will also be made to the US administration in the next few days to ask if there are any plans to seek extradition of Mr Assange if he went to Sweden, or if a Grand Jury is being set up to investigate WikiLeaks' publication of the information.
A source at the Ecuadorian Embassy said the aim was to prevent the "evil" which could await Mr Assange if he is extradited to the United States.
"Julian Assange has repeatedly offered himself to the Swedish authorities to be interviewed. We have made it clear that Ecuador would be willing to facilitate an interview. The prosecutor is welcome to come here."
Ecuador government officials have spoken to the Sweden authorities on a number of occasions since Mr Assange suddenly turned up at the London Embassy, but the planned contact with the US will be the first.
Ecuador regards itself as an "honest broker" in the saga and did not "seek out" the problem. "It is our duty to act under international law and the standards of South American principles," said the source.
The involvement of so many countries has made it an "incredibly complex" case, said the source, adding: "We care very much about human rights, but at the same time we have bilateral relations to consider."