Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday held talks with Libya's eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the port city of Benghazi, according to foreign ministry sources.
After meeting Haftar, Di Maio was due to fly to the city of Tobruk for talks with Libya's eastern-based parliament speaker Aguila Saleh, said the sources.
Earlier on Tuesday, during talks with Libya's deputy premier Ahmed Maitig and the country's foreign minister Mohammed Taher Siyala, Di Maio reiterated Italy's view that the civil war cannot be ended by military force, the sources said.
It is Di Maio's first visit to the oil-rich country, which was an Italian colony from 1911-1943.
Italy is seeking a leading role in diplomatic efforts towards a ceasefire in Libya and the resumption of United Nations brokered peace talks between the rival factions.