After discussion about a recently inked nuclear deal with Iran yesterday, the White House said Obama and Salman "also spoke about the urgency of stopping the fighting in Yemen and the  importance of ensuring that assistance can reach Yemenis on all sides of the conflict."

The White House has repeatedly pressed for an end to the conflict in which Saudi Arabia has led a coalition air and naval campaign south of its border. It has also called for talks to end the crisis.

Leading Sunni power Saudi Arabia has been deeply concerned about Iranian influence in its impoverished southern neighbour.

Riyadh launched a devastating air campaign in March against the rebels and their allies in the armed forces.

Aden airport had been in the hands of the rebels since soldiers of the 39th Armored Brigade defected on March 25.

The fighting has raged despite a UN-declared six-day ceasefire that was supposed to have taken effect shortly before midnight Friday.

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