The European Union borders and coastguard agency Frontex should extend its operations to Libyan soil, Italy's infrastructure and transport minister Danilo Toninelli said on Tuesday.
"The saving and safeguarding of so many lives (in the Mediterranean) is an extraordinary role. But we need to share this responsibility with other European countries," Toninelli said.
"The problem of migration cannot be managed by Italy alone."
Toninelli is from the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, which together with the anti-migrant League party formed a coalition government that took office earlier this month, almost three months after the 4 March national election led to a hung parliament.