Yemeni president to visit Spain for anti-terrorism talks

24th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to pay his first official visit to Spain on 28 January.

24 January 2008

SANA’A - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to pay his first official visit to Spain on 28 January for talks on cooperation in the fight against terrorism, a senior Yemeni official said Wednesday.

The three-day visit, at the invitation of Spain's King Juan Carlos, comes nearly six months after eight Spanish tourists were killed in a car bomb attack on their convoy in central Yemen.

Yemeni officials have blamed the 2 July attack on the terrorist al-Qaeda group.

Police have named nine other suspects accused of plotting the attack, but none of them has been arrested.

The official, who asked not to be named, told Deutsche-Presse Agentur dpa that Saleh's talks in Madrid would also touch on the fate of a Spanish citizen of Syrian descent who was sentenced to death in Yemen in 1998 on terror charges.

A Yemeni state security court convicted Nabil Nanakli Qusaibati, 52, of leading a group that carried out several bombings, mostly in the southern port city of Aden in 1997.

Yemeni officials have said he would be handed over to Spain after an extradition agreement last October be ratified by Saleh.

Twenty-one alleged accomplices were sentenced to jail terms between 18 months and four years, while five others were acquitted.

When the trial began in December 1997, Qusaibati told the court he had been paid USD 150,000 by Saudi intelligence to kill Yemen's then prime minister Abdul-Kareem al-Eryani.

The death sentence was endorsed by the country's Supreme Court in 2003, but the execution was postponed several times after Spanish officials pressured the Yemeni government.

Yemen and Spain established full diplomatic relations in April 2006.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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