Barack Obama has said the success of the peace process in Northern Ireland should be a lesson for troubled parts of the world.
After talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the President praised Ireland for its presence and actions on the world stage, saying the country consistently punches above its weight.
President Obama also said that America and Ireland are linked by blood.
"The friendship and the bond between the United States and Ireland could not be stronger," he said.
"Obviously it is not just a matter of strategic interests. It's not just a matter of foreign policy, for the United States and Ireland carries a blood lineage.
"For millions of Irish-Americans this continues to symbolise the homeland and the extraordinary traditions of an extraordinary people."
The President and Taoiseach held talks for about 45 minutes in the state residence, Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park, Dublin after he was welcomed to the country by President Mary McAleese.
Mr Kenny said the discussions focused on the economic situation in Ireland including the banking crisis and the efforts to bring country's budget under control and also US immigration policy.
The Taoiseach also assured the President that Shannon Airport - a stopover point for US military aircraft moving to Afghanistan - would remain open.
Mr Kenny described it as a "no-change" policy.
"I want to express to the Irish people how ... inspired we have been by the progress made in Northern Ireland because it speaks to the possibilities of peace and people in long-standing struggles to be able to re-imagine their relationships," he said.
"To see Her Majesty, the Queen of England, come here and to see the mutual warmth and healing that took place as a consequence of that visit, to know that the former taoiseach Dr (Garret) FitzGerald was able to witness the Queen coming here, that sends a signal not just in England, not just here in Ireland but around the world."
Dr FitzGerald, who died last Thursday, secured the Anglo-Irish Agreement with former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1985 which paved the way for parties on all sides of the political divide in Northern Ireland to sign up to power sharing.
The President repeated the thoughts of Irish-American and Democratic Senator Bobby Kennedy who said a "ripple of hope may manifest itself".
"To all those who have been working tirelessly to bring about peace in Northern Ireland, to those who are willing to take those risks, we are grateful to them," he said.
"We are proud of the part that America played in helping to get both sides to talk and to provide a space for that conversation to take place. We want you to know that we will continue to be there.
He was given a collection of Hawaiian children's stories by Irish writer Padraic Colum as gifts for the Obama children, Malia and Sasha.
He was also given a hurley, a stick made from ash and used in the ancient gaelic sport of hurling.