KHARTOUM, Sudan Visiting British parliament members met Saturday with a British teacher imprisoned in Sudan for allegedly insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and they said she was in good spirits.
The two Muslim members of Parliament's upper house also met with Sudanese officials and said afterwards that the government in Khartoum wants to resolve the case.
A lawyer for Gillian Gibbons said President Omar al-Bashir could inform the visiting parliamentarians that he had pardoned the teacher.
Labour peer Lord Ahmed and Baroness Warsi, a Conservative, arrived in Sudan Saturday on what the British Foreign Office called a private visit to meet with Sudanese officials and seek the release of Gibbons. They visited Gibbons in prison for more than an hour.
"Gillian was surprisingly in good spirits considering the last seven days," Warsi told Sky News.
Warsi said she and Ahmed met Sudanese officials Saturday morning and more meetings were scheduled later.
"The Sudanese government do want to resolve this matter. ... (We) hope we can come to an amicable resolution soon," she said.
Gibbons' lawyer Kamal al-Gizouli said Sudan's president could deliver news of a pardon when he meets the British visitors. But it was not immediately clear when they would meet.
"I would not be surprised if president of the republic will tell delegation we have dropped this charge," al-Gizouli told The Associated Press.
Gibbons, 54, was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail and deportation for insulting Islam by naming a teddy bear Muhammad the name of Islam's prophet. The naming was part of a class project for her 7-year-old students at a private school in Sudan.
Al-Gizouli said only the president has the power to lift Gibbons' 15-day sentence which runs until Dec. 9.
Gibbons was moved from the Omdurman women's prison to a secret location on Friday after thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of her and demanded her execution.
There was no overt sign that the government organized the protest, but such a rally could not have taken place without at least official assent.
The teacher's conviction under Sudan's Islamic Sharia law shocked Britons, and the British government has said it was working with Sudan's regime to win her release.
Gibbons escaped harsher punishment that could have included up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine. Her time in jail since her arrest Sunday counts toward the sentence.
During her trial, the weeping teacher said she had intended no harm. Her students, overwhelmingly Muslim, chose the name for the bear, and Muhammad is one of the most common names for men in the Arab world. Muslim scholars generally agree that intent is a key factor in determining if someone has violated Islamic rules against insulting the prophet.
But the case was caught up in the ideology that al-Bashir's Islamic regime has long instilled in Sudan, a mix of anti-colonialism, religious fundamentalism and a sense that the West is besieging Islam.
The uproar comes as the U.N. is accusing Sudan of dragging its feet on the deployment of peacekeepers in the western Sudanese Darfur region.