( dpa ) - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who began an official visit to Spain on Monday, would seek the release of a reporter for the Arab television network al-Jazeera who was convicted in 2005 over terrorist charges, Yemeni officials said.
The officials, who asked not to be identified, said Saleh would urge Spanish officials to release the journalist Tayseer Alouni, 51, who received a seven-year jail sentence by a Spanish court after he was found guilty of collaborating with al-Qaeda.
Alouni, known for interviewing the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on US cities, holds dual Spanish and Syrian nationalities.
He was released from jail and put under house arrest in the southern Spanish city of Granada in October 2006 due to his ill health.
Saleh is on a three-day visit to Spain for talks on cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
It was not clear whether the Yemeni leader would propose to swap Alouni with a Spanish citizen of Syrian descent who was sentenced to death in Yemen in 1998 on terror charges.
Yemeni officials said on Wednesday that Saleh's talks in Madrid would touch on the fate of the Spanish convict Nabil Nanakli Qusaibati, who was sentenced to death for leading a group that carried out several bombings in Yemen in 1997.
Qusaibati's death sentence was upheld by the Yemen's Supreme Court in 2003, but the execution was postponed several times after Spanish officials pressured the Yemeni government.
On Saturday, Saleh endorsed an extradition agreement inked with Spain last October, paving the way for Qusaibati's extradition.