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Susan Walsh, Associated Press
President Barack Obama meets with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 17, 2015. The leaders are expected to discuss Europe's economy, a pending trade pact between the U.S. and Europe, climate change and energy security.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi are going to work together more intensely on threats from Libya.

Obama said Friday in a news conference with Renzi that they spent much of their Oval Office meeting discussing their shared concern over Libya. Obama says the situation has become "deadly and difficult."

Italy is struggling to cope with an influx of migrants who are risking their lives to flee instability in Libya and other parts of North Africa and the Middle East by crossing the Mediterranean.

Italian police reported this week that Muslim migrants had thrown 12 Christians overboard during a recent crossing from Libya. An aid group said another 41 were believed to have drowned in a separate incident. The tragedies followed earlier reports of 400 people presumed dead in the sinking of a ship near the Libyan coast.