Julian Assange has cancelled a planned announcement from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy following the agreement of an "imminent meeting" with British authorities.

The WikiLeaks founder, who has been holed up in the Embassy in London for nearly five years, was due to make a statement to mark the anniversary of his arrival.

A statement from Assange informed the media and supporters who had gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy that the speech has now been deferred on advice of his legal team.

The statement added: "Mr Assange's legal team remain optimistic that a satisfactory outcome can be found which respects the British legal process and restores Mr Assange's freedom and dignity."

Assange entered the embassy in 2012 as part of a bid to avoid being extradited extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

Assange feared he would be extradited to the US once he was in Sweden to face espionage charges, following the leak of thousands of classified documents on his WikiLeaks website relating to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite Swedish authorities saying they dropped the 2010 rape allegations case against Assange in May, Assange still faces being arrested by British police as he is wanted for jumping bail and risks arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Melinda Taylor, of Assange's legal team, told the Press Association: "We have been given confirmation that there will be a meeting with the British authorities.

"We hope that will be soon. We don't want to prejudice that meeting because we need this impasse to be resolved. There is no legal reason to keep Julian here."

A Met Police spokesperson said, following's Sweden's decision to drop the case against Assange: "Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime.

"Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence."

Julian Assange
Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador on May 2017Getty