Julian Assange denied diplomatic status by United Kingdom

Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno has been infuriated by Assange's criticism of his political allies abroad

Julian Assange gets Ecuadorean passport

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been hiding for more than five years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has received a civilian ID from the South American country, DPA and Reuters reported.

Ecuador gave Assange political asylum after he sought refuge in its London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face a rape allegation, which he denies.

An Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK".

The reaction of the MFA comes one day after Quito reportedly granted an ID card to Assange.

The Ecuadorean government has confirmed that Julian Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship on 12 December.

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry in a statement said it was seeking to resolve Assange's situation, without making reference to the citizenship issue.

Ecuador's president at the time, Rafael Correa, was a vocal critic of the United States and an ally of another high-profile U.S. critic - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Mr Assange has been in the small embassy in Knightsbridge ever since.

His website WikiLeaks published leaked intelligence from the United States and although it has not sought his arrest, Mr Assange is concerned the USA is still considering prosecuting him.

Ecuador subsequently asked the United Kingdom to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent - a move that could have given him immunity.

Sweden dropped the case, though Assange has remained in the embassy because he is still subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail. Whether British authorities would respect such legal niceties is far from certain, however, and any measure taken by the Ecuadoran government to end Assange's de facto imprisonment would be meaningless without guaranteeing him safe passage.

The UK has refused, saying Mr Assange - who has been at the embassy since 2012 - should now leave and "face justice".

Assange, who denies the allegations, feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in USA history.

Moreno issued a warning reminding Assange not to meddle in politics.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to a reporter's question in April about whether arresting Assange was a priority, said it was. Assange and his website have also leaked information from Guantanamo Bay, private emails belonging to 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and emails from the Democratic National Committee.

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