JOE BIDEN says he won't be taking sides in the post-Brexit Irish border dispute between the EU and the UK.
The President told Taoiseach Micheál Martin during their virtual St Patrick's Day meeting on Wednesday that he was committed to honouring the Good Friday Agreement, whatever the costs.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently enraged the EU by announcing he would delay agreed checks on goods between the UK and Northern Ireland, arguing that it was to avoid chaos to businesses and to ease sectarian tensions.
It's understood that Martin, and indeed the EU, had hoped that Biden would criticise Johnson's actions during their video call, but the White House insists he'll be taking a neutral stance.
"We view that as a trade issue to be resolved between the UK and the EU," a White House spokesperson said.
"We hope that both sides are able to return to the table and discuss the implementation of the agreement."
The Taoiseach added that he too hoped that Ireland and the UK could come to an agreement.
"With a new trading relationship now in place between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and a protocol that protects peace and avoids a hard border on this island, I want to move forward with a positive relationship with the United Kingdom," Martin said.
"That means standing by what has been agreed and working together to make a success of it."