Libya has given the European Union permission to begin training its coast guard, as increasing numbers of migrants leave the country bound for Italy.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that the training effort "will be very important to control Libya's territorial waters, together with our Libyan partners, as well as to control the migrant influx."

Mogherini's remarks came as she arrived in Brussels for talks with EU foreign ministers on how to move ahead with the training, among other issues, including the fight against the Islamic State group.

The EU also has a naval operation in the Mediterranean and the Europeans have been waiting for approval from Libya's government to allow operations within the country's territorial waters to combat migrant smugglers.