Assange says ready to talk to UK and U.S. after Sweden case dropped

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Wikileaks’ Julian Assange said on Friday he was prepared to talk to Britain and the United States after Sweden dropped a probe into an allegation of rape against him, but he defended his right to remain in Ecuador’s embassy in London.

Appearing at the balcony of the central London embassy where he has spent five years, Assange criticized Western governments, but said he was prepared to enter into dialogue with London and Washington.

“My legal staff have contacted the United Kingdom authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward,” he said after raising a clenched fist in a gesture of victory.

“While there have been extremely threatening remarks made, I’m always happy to engage in a dialogue with the Department of Justice about what has occurred.”

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by William Schomberg