The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has held separate meetings at Shannon Airport with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Mr Coveney tweeted that it was "great to meet" with the Secretary of State on his way to the Middle East.

He said they had "really constructive" discussions on EU-US relations, the Middle East peace process, the Iran Nuclear Deal and Belarus.

In a statement following the meeting, the US State Department said they reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Ireland's role "as an enduring Transatlantic partner".

They also discussed Ireland's role on the UN Security Council.

"The Secretary and Foreign Minister condemned the outrageous diversion of Ryanair Flight 4978 in Belarus," according to the statement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The US President Joe Biden has also condemned Sunday's forced diversion of a Ryanair flight by Belarus and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich.

In a statement, Mr Biden described the incident as "a direct affront to international norms".

"This outrageous incident and the video of Mr Protasevich appears to have been made under duress are shameful assaults on both political dissent and the freedom of the press," the statement read.

"The United States joins countries around the world in calling for his release, as well as for the release of the hundreds of political prisoners who are being unjustly detained by the Lukashenka regime," Mr Biden said.

Simon Coveney also discussed Belarus with the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during their meeting at Shannon Airport.

"Mr. Sullivan and Foreign Minister Coveney condemned the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk by the Lukashenka regime and they agreed to remain in close touch on an appropriate response," according to a statement released by the US National Security Council following the meeting.

Other topics covered included Ireland's role on the UN Security Council, Irish-US relations, cyber security, Brexit and Northern Ireland,

"Mr Sullivan and Foreign Minister Coveney reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the gains of the Good Friday Agreement for all communities in Northern Ireland," the statement read.