The Taoiseach has said that he will be intensifying contact with the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the coming weeks to try to restore the institutions in Northern Ireland.

Leo Varadkar said that the recent agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol would allow stakeholders to focus on matters related to the Northern Ireland institutions.

"We're working towards having the institutions up and running in the next few months," he told RTÉ's This Week programme.

However, he cautioned that putting a deadline on the restoration of Stormont would not be helpful but that it was important that both government's start to work "hand-in-hand" again on important issues in the aftermath of Brexit.

"The people of Northern Ireland deserve to have a government," he said.

Asked if there should be a review of the Good Friday Agreement, he said that it should not happen until Stormont is restored.

Earlier, Mr Sunak praised the Good Friday Agreement, ahead of US President Joe Biden's visit to mark the 25th anniversary of its signing.

In a statement, Mr Sunak said "making good" on the pledge of a "better future" for Northern Ireland is first and foremost on his mind ahead of the anniversary.

Signed on 10 April 1998, the agreement ended the 30-year conflict of the Troubles, during which more than 3,500 people were killed.

He said: "It is that promise of a better future that we offered to everyone in Northern Ireland that I will be thinking of first and foremost over the coming days.

"It is my responsibility as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to ensure we are making good on that promise."

Mr Sunak said the signing of the Good Friday Agreement was an "incredible moment".

He said: "It was a powerfully rare example of people doing the previously unthinkable to create a better future for Northern Ireland."

Mr Sunak said he is "relentlessly focused" on delivering economic growth for Northern Ireland, which he said is crucial to improving living standards.

Mr Sunak will meet Joe Biden off Air Force One when he arrives on Tuesday evening, and Mr Biden will take part in a series of engagements in Belfast including a formal meeting with Mr Sunak.

Mr Sunak is expected to use the US President's visit to drum up long-term investment for Northern Ireland and announce that the UK will host a Northern Ireland Investment Summit in September.

Mr Sunak will also address the "Agreement 25" conference at Queen's University on Wednesday before hosting a gala dinner.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald expressed disappointment that US President Joe Biden will not be addressing Stormont during his visit.

Ms McDonald said that 25 years on from the Good Friday Agreement "the eyes of the world are on Ireland and the North of Ireland in particular and we have a limbo situation".

Additional reporting PA