King Albert II of Belgium has paid tribute to what he described as the impressive achievements of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrew's Agreement in a speech at the Department of Foreign Affairs this afternoon.

King Albert II and Queen Paola are on a three-day state visit to Ireland.

He also praised Ireland's economic progress.

Welcoming the Belgian Royal couple, the Taoiseach said that it was the first state visit by a Belgian monarch to Ireland since 1968.

King Albert met the Leas Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad at Leinster House this afternoon, while Queen Paola visited St Ciarán's National School in Hartstown.

They will both attend a State dinner at Aras an Uachtaráin this evening.

The royal couple will travel to the Shannon region on Wednesday, where they will visit the Industrial Zone and Bunratty Castle.