US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged to do all she could to support Northern Ireland's political leaders as they continued their journey towards a more peaceful future.
After a meeting in Belfast's Stormont Castle with the region's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Mrs Clinton hailed the progress already made in the last 15 years as a model for reconciliation around the world.
But she said President Barack Obama's administration stood ready to help in any way to overcome the outstanding issues confronting the powersharing administration.
Foremost among those is the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster.
The politically sensitive move was understood to be high on the agenda during Mrs Clinton's hour long talks with the Democratic Unionist and Sinn Fein representatives.
"There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Northern Ireland has come a long way," she said afterwards. "Old enemies are working together to build a stable, prosperous future and I've seen first hand how you have become a model for conflict resolution and reconciliation around the world. I hear that on my travels: people who are determined to choose peace and progress over violence look toward you."
She added: "The United States stands ready to help in any way we can, our peoples are bound together by both historic and ancestral ties nurtured by friendship and partnerships. Both my husband and I feel a special bond with this land and as Secretary of State I am committed to continue to offer a hand of friendship and partnership."
Republicans and unionists have yet to finalise an agreement on devolving policing and justice powers from Westminster to the Stormont Assembly, but lengthy talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week carved out a financial blueprint for the move.
The US Secretary of State is making her seventh visit to Northern Ireland since she first arrived as First Lady with her husband President Bill Clinton to famously boost the fledgling search for peace in the 1990s.
Welcoming Mrs Clinton's comments, both Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness reiterated their determination to make power-sharing work.