US President Joe Biden has urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure the Northern Ireland peace process is protected in his bitter row with Brussels over post-Brexit trading arrangements.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden - who has spoken of his pride in his Irish roots - held a "candid discussion" with Johnson about the issue during the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.
Answering questions from American reporters, Sullivan said the president had expressed his views with "deep sincerity" but declined to go into detail.
"All I'm going to say: they did discuss this issue. They had a candid discussion of it in private," Sullivan said on Sunday.
"The president naturally, and with deep sincerity, encouraged the prime minister to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the progress made under it."
The two leaders met on Thursday before the main summit began and Johnson later played down any differences between them on the issue.
The disclosure came as the gathering ended with a diplomatic spat after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused French President Emmanuel Macron and other senior EU figures of talking about Northern Ireland "as if it was some kind of different country to the UK".
Macron strongly denied he had questioned British sovereignty but insisted the UK must honour the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
The row over the Northern Ireland Protocol - intended to protect the peace process by ensuring there is no return to a hard border with the Republic of Ireland - overshadowed much of the summit.
Johnson repeated his warning that he could unilaterally delay the latest checks on chilled meats moving from Britain to Northern Ireland unless the dispute was resolved.
The EU has threatened to launch a trade war unless the UK abides by its treaty obligations.
Australian Associated Press