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Assange gives thanks 'for justice'
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, talks with his legal adviser Balthasar Garcon inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has thanked the nation of Ecuador for taking a "stand for justice" in giving him political asylum.
He appeared on the balcony of the South American country's embassy in London where he has been taking refuge for two months as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning on sexual assault allegations.
The Australian also thanked other helpful South American nations and supporters around the world, plus his family including his children "who have been denied their father". He said: "Forgive me, we will be reunited soon."
Earlier Mr Assange's legal adviser Baltasar Garzon said Mr Assange had instructed his lawyers "to carry out a legal action" to protect his rights. He told media representatives outside the embassy: "Julian Assange has always fought for truth and justice and has defended human rights and continues to do so.
"He demands that WikiLeaks and his own rights be respected. Julian Assange has instructed his lawyers to carry out a legal action in order to protect the rights of WikiLeaks, Julian himself and all those currently being investigated."
Mr Assange entered the building seeking asylum on June 19 and has been inside since. Last week it was announced he had been granted political asylum, sparking a major diplomatic row between Ecuador, Sweden and the Government, which insists it is legally obliged to hand him over. Foreign Secretary William Hague has made it clear that Mr Assange will not be allowed safe passage out of the country.
Mr Assange emerged at the balcony at the embassy in Knightsbridge to loud cheers from his supporters.
He told them: "I am here today because I cannot be there with you today. But thank you for coming, thank you for your resolve, your generosity of spirit. On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy, the police descended on this building. You came out in the middle of the night to watch over it, and you brought the world's eyes with you.
"Inside this embassy in the dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up inside the building through its internal fire escape. But I knew there would be witnesses, and that is because of you. If the UK did not throw away the Vienna Conventions the other night, it is because the world was watching. And the world was watching because you were watching.
"So the next time that somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights that we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the embassy of Ecuador. Remind them how, in the morning, the sun came up on a different world, and a courageous Latin American nation took a stand for justice."