Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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Italy's foreign minister visited Tripoli Tuesday to bolster the unity government struggling to end Libya's chaos, in the first visit by a top Western official since 2014 .Italy has played a leading role in international efforts to pressure Libya's warring rivals to rally behind the unity government.European nations in particular have been alarmed by the expansion of ISIS in Libya, located just 300 km (185 miles) away from Italy across the Mediterranean.The number of ISIS fighters in Libya has doubled in the past 12-18 months and now stands at about 4,000 to 6,000, the head of U.S. forces in Africa, General David Rodriguez, said last week.As well as tackling ISIS, European governments hope the unity government can crack down on people smugglers who have stepped up their lucrative business in Libya amid the chaos.
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