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Fall of Mosul will be decisive blow: Payne

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Max Blenkin, Defence Correspondent

The liberation of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State control will be a decisive blow to the group but won't end the terrorist threat, Defence Minister Marise Payne says.

Senator Payne, who attended a meeting of defence ministers of nations in the coalition against IS in Paris this week, says the campaign remains on track and the terrorist organisation is under increasing pressure.

"The liberation of Mosul from Daesh control will be a decisive blow to the group, but it will not be the end of the terrorist threat," she said.

Senator Payne said IS was losing territory, finances, fighters and battles but the momentum needed to be maintained.

"This campaign is complex and will take some time. The forces fighting against Daesh are fighting with skill and bravery, with the support of the coalition," she said.

Senator Payne said Australia was a leading contributor to the US-led campaign, with RAAF aircraft supporting Iraqi forces on the ground and Australian and New Zealand troops training Iraqi soldiers for the Mosul battle.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Senator Payne held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

A key outcome was an agreement with French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for annual ministerial talks in the same manner as annual Australia-US and Australia-UK ministerial talks on security and defence issues.

Australia and France have longstanding defence ties but they've stepped up with Australia's decision to acquire submarines from French shipbuilder DCNS.

"Building on these links, and in light of the co-operation that we will have for decades to come under the Future Submarine Program, we will establish formal defence ministers' meetings," she said.

As well as submarines, Australia is also set to acquire new warships to replace Anzac frigates.

Senator Payne held bilateral meetings with UK defence secretary Michael Fallon and Italian minister Roberta Pinotti. Companies from both nations are bidding to build the new vessels.

Senator Payne heads to Jakarta for the annual defence and foreign ministers' meetings on Thursday and Friday.

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