TEHRAN - Turkey and Iran agreed on the need for a political solution to Yemen’s war, which has raised tensions between them, Iran’s president said Tuesday after talks with his visiting Turkish counterpart.

The two countries are at odds over Yemen. Ankara has accused Tehran of backing Huthi rebels there and, in turn, being charged with fuelling tensions in the region.

“We talked about Iraq, Syria, Palestine... We had a long discussion about Yemen. We both think war and bloodshed must stop in this area immediately and a complete ceasefire must be established and the strikes must stop” in Yemen, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani said during a joint press conference broadcast by state television.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan made no remarks about Yemen, but talked at length about bilateral relations with Iran. Iran, which supports the Huthi rebels in Yemen, has condemned air strikes by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supported by Turkey.

Rouhani said he hoped the two countries, “with the help of other countries in the region, help there to be peace, stability, a broader government and dialogue” between Yemenis. “We agree on the fact that instability, insecurity and war must cease throughout the region,” he said.

Erdogan, a conservative Islamist, denounced at the end of March what he called Iran’s will for “domination” in Yemen, calling on Tehran to “withdraw all its forces from Yemen, Syria and Iraq.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif reacted by accusing Ankara of fuelling instability in the Middle East. Iranian newspapers and conservatives for their part denounced Erdogan’s “insult” and called for his visit to be cancelled.

Turkey and Iran are also opposed on Syria, with Tehran the main regional ally of President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting the rebellion.

Several ministers accompanied Erdogan, who is also expected to meet Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his one-day visit. Despite the tensions, the neighbouring countries want to strengthen trade to 30 billion dollars (28 billion euros) in 2015.

Erdogan pointed out that the balance of trade was unfavourable to Turkey, since “Iran exports $10 billion and imports only $4 billion in Turkish products.”

He also expressed hope for trades “in the currencies of the two countries” and not in dollars or euros so they are not affected by fluctuations of foreign currencies. And he asked for a reduction in the price of gas purchased from Iran.

“The gas we buy from Iran is the most expensive. If the price drops we can buy more,” Erdogan said. “That’s what a friendly country is.”

He also called for expanding air links to medium-sized cities in Iran, and for an increase in electricity imports, as is already the case for several Turkish provinces.

During the visit, eight documents, particularly in the areas of transport, customs, industry and health were also signed.

Meanwhile, China's foreign ministry added its support on Tuesday to calls for a ceasefire in Yemen, after Russia and the Red Cross appealed for a military pause to allow humanitarian aid deliveries and the evacuation of civilians.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that China was deeply concerned about the situation in Yemen.

"We call on all relevant parties to quickly implement a ceasefire and avoid further civilian casualties," Hua said.

"China also hopes that all relevant sides can earnestly implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions and Gulf Cooperation Council proposals and resolve the crisis through political dialogue so as to quickly restore Yemen's stability and normal legal order."

China was paying close attention to the humanitarian situation in Yemen and urged all sides to respect international law and facilitate evacuation measures, Hua said.

The fighting has killed hundreds of people, cut off water and electricity supplies and led the UN children's agency UNICEF to warn that Yemen is heading towards a humanitarian disaster.

Saudi Arabia, the main Arab power in the Gulf, launched the air campaign on March 26 to try to contain the Houthis and restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled Aden for refuge in Riyadh.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and UNICEF planned to fly aid planes into Yemen on Tuesday, but the missions have been delayed as they seek clearance from Arab states waging air strikes and hunt for planes prepared to fly to Yemen.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil from the region, has previously expressed concern at the upsurge in violence in Yemen and called for a political solution.