CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's president has fired the country's chief spy and assigned a confidante and head of his office to run the General Intelligence Directorate Agency temporarily.

Thursday's one-line statement from President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's office gave no reason why Khaled Fawzi was removed from office. The Egyptian president seldom explains decisions pertaining to national security or foreign relations.

The statement says the president's confidante and office director Abbas Kamel, a retired army general who works behind the scenes, would run the agency until a new director is found.

Egypt's General Intelligence Directorate is the country's equivalent of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, but it has also taken tasks that normally fall under the mandate of a domestic security agency.

The agency's chiefs have traditionally hailed from the military.