Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he supports calls for the appointment of a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

Mr Coveney today hosted a Zoom call with members of the Irish community in New York and was asked if he would welcome the announcement of an Envoy.

"Absolutely," he replied, saying it would create a structured link with the White House and provide a very useful and valuable tool, particularly now given the current "multitude of challenges".

"The Northern Ireland Protocol is not the cause of the current challenges, Brexit is the cause," Mr Coveney said.

He also thanked the US for its unwavering support for the peace process.

Last night, the US Senate passed a resolution reaffirming support for the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements including the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The motion in the Senate was advanced by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Susan Collins.

Motion was advanced by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez

Senator Menendez said that the resolution had been passed and that it reaffirmed unwavering support for the Good Friday Agreement and its full implementation.

"Very proud to have the Congress speak with one voice in support of accountability, reconciliation and prosperity in Ireland," he said on Twitter.

This bipartisan motion was introduced in the US Senate on 16 March on the eve of the St Patrick's Day virtual meeting between Taoiseach Micheál Martin and US President Joe Biden.

The resolution calls for support for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as subsequent agreements including the Stormont House Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Irish Ambassador to the US, Daniel Mulhall, has welcomed the passage of the motion.

"Thank you Senator Menendez for piloting this resolution through the Senate. Congressional support for peace in Ireland continues to be vitally important and deeply appreciated," he tweeted.

Last week, 25 members of the United States Congress signed a letter to President Biden calling on him to appoint a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

"We believe this decision would not only demonstrate America's enduring commitment to peace in Northern Ireland but would directly encourage regional peace and stability," the letter stated.

The main signatory was Democratic Congressman Bill Keating who recently arranged a hearing of a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee to reaffirm support for the Good Friday Agreement.