The third shipment of Syrian chemical weapons has taken place, the Reuters news agency reports on Monday citing an OPCW statement.

The Dutch and Norwegian vessels Ark Futura and Taiko have been taking away the Syrian chemical arsenal from the port of Latakia since January 7. Two consignments were already completed.

According to an initial plan, the toxic cargo had to be removed from Syria before December 31,2013, but due to the unstable situation in the country, it didn’t happen.

In line with the OPCW schedule, around 20,000 tons of toxic mustard gas have to be taken away until March 31,2014, and the entire chemical arsenal has to be destroyed by the end of 2014.

The head of the international chemical weapons mission in Syria told the UN Security Council on Thursday that the deadline looming for the elimination of the government ' s toxic arsenal is vital, a diplomat said.

The remarks came from Sigrid Kaag, head of the joint mission of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW) that is overseeing the destruction of Syria ' s chemical arsenal.

" With deadline on the horizon, it is essential that Syria accelerates " shipments of toxic chemicals out of the country, Kaag said.