Ecuador says it's reached a deal with Sweden that could lead to questioning of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who's in asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London while facing a Swedish rape allegation.

The website of the South American country's foreign ministry says the deal eases "judicial procedures such as the questioning of Mr. Assange."

Prosecutors in August dropped cases of lesser sexual misconduct against the 44-year-old Australian. But they still want to ask about accusations of rape during his visit to Sweden in 2010.

Assange avoided extradition to Sweden by sheltering in the embassy in 2012. He has denied the accusations made against him by two women and believes extradition to Sweden is merely the first step in efforts to bring him to the U.S. over WikiLeaks' secret-spilling activities.

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