Ecuadorian minister visits Assange in London embassy

An Ecuadorian minister said on Wednesday that Julian Assange was in "good spirits" after visiting the WikiLeaks founder inside Ecuador's embassy in London.

Assange has been holed up in the tiny diplomatic mission for nine months as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies.

Ecuador's secretary of state for planning and development, Fander Falconi, met the former computer hacker during a brief visit to Britain.

"He is in very good health and good spirits," Falconi told reporters at the embassy.

"He is very proud of Ecuador's foreign policy and the very professional way the government of Ecuador is dealing with this issue."

Assange fled to the embassy in June after losing his battle in the British courts against extradition to Sweden.

Ecuador granted him asylum in August but Britain has refused to allow him safe passage out of the country, sparking a diplomatic stalemate.

Assange founded the WikiLeaks website that enraged Washington by releasing cables and war logs relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the biggest security breach in US history.