The president of Ecuador has taken a swipe at Julian Assange as the WikiLeaks founder enters his sixth year as a fugitive inside the country's embassy in London, describing him as a "nuisance" and an "inherited problem" for his government.
Lenin Moreno told Ecuadorian television he hopes to have a "positive result" with regards to Assange's situation following the recent failed attempt to give him diplomatic immunity by granting him Ecuadorian citizenship so he can leave the embassy without being arrested by British police.
Moreno added Ecuador is continuing to negotiate with "important people" on Assange, without going into further details.
Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London's Knightsbridge since 2012 in his bid to avoid extradition, is no longer wanted by Swedish authorities over sexual assault allegations but still faces arrest by British police over a bail jumping charge if he leaves.
The whistleblower fears he would be extradited to the US once arrested to face espionage charges following the leak of thousands of classified documents on his WikiLeaks website relating to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Foreign Office confirmed it rejected Ecuador's request to grant Assange diplomatic immunity in what is believed a sign the south American country is losing patience with the Wikileaks founder.
A UK Foreign office spokesperson said: "The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK.
"The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice."
Moreno said: "This would have been a good result, unfortunately, things did not turn out as the foreign ministry planned and so the problem still exists."
Ecuadorian foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed that the government will not rescind the asylum granted to Assange by former president Rafael Correa in 2012.