The President of the European Council has said Europe needs to 'reach a deal' on an interest rate cut for Ireland's bailout loans.

Herman Van Rompuy was speaking after what he described as a 'constructive meeting' with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin today.

Mr Van Rompuy said he offered his 'deep admiration' and 'full support' for the efforts of the Irish people and the Irish Government in dealing with the challenges the country is facing.

He said decisive action had been taken on the banking sector and the jobs initiative was an essential part of economic recovery.

'In this context we talked about the issue of a reduction of the interest rates on the loans for Ireland,' he said.

'I am fully aware this is a sensitive issue for Ireland. We continue to work with our partners to find a solution. We need to reach a deal.'

'There are perspectives, we'll have to work on it, but there are real perspectives,' he added.

Mr Van Rompuy said the euro area as a whole was strong and he expected growth across the eurozone, including Ireland.

He also called on Greek parties to 'take responsibility' at this crucial time and work in a 'united manner'.

Enda Kenny said continuing 'negotiations on a reduction of Ireland's interest rates are being conducted by the Minister for Finance and in respect of which we are in discussions with our French colleagues'.

He said the issue was discussed during the meeting with President Van Rompuy, saying on the overall economic outlook 'I reminded the President that Ireland is on track in meeting our conditions'.

Mr Van Rompuy will also meet President Mary McAleese in Áras an Uachtaráin, address the Institute of International and European Affairs and visit Trinity College.

This is his first visit to Dublin since taking up the position.