Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said an escalation in Libya should be 'absolutely avoided', so as to avoid the possibility of a humanitarian crisis, while speaking to the press in Rome on Tuesday.

"We're very concerned over the Libyan crisis. We've worked, we are working, and we will continue to work so that a humanitarian crisis can be averted, which can also prompt the risk of some foreign fighters coming to our territory and European soil," said Conte.

Asked whether the Italian ports will be closed, Conte replied: "Italian immigration policy [...] has never been reduced to 'yes or no' to open ports'."

The PM also said that at the moment there was no need for him or Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi to travel to Libya in order to speak with interlocutors, but that if the necessity arises, they would do so.

Fighting around the Libyan capital Tripoli has escalated since earlier this month, with the Libyan National Army (LNA) attempting to establish control over the city.

Over 10,000 Tripoli residents have so far been displaced due to the ongoing clashes, according to Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

The LNA, which controls eastern Libya, is aiming to take over territory from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), including Tripoli. The country has been split between the two rival sides since 2014.

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