Sisi replaces Egypt's intelligence chief ahead of elections

Sisi replaces Egypt's intelligence chief ahead of elections
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has appointed Major General Abbas Kamel as interim chief of the country’s General Intelligence Service, state television reported on Thursday.
2 min read
18 January, 2018
An election is expected to take place in Egypt in March 2018 [Getty]
A new interim chief of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service was appointed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday.

Egyptian media announced that Major General Abbas Kamel was to take up the new role, but did not mention Khaled Fawzi, who was serving as chief of the General Intelligence before Thursday’s statement.

The move comes ahead of the Egyptian presidential election, scheduled in March, where Sisi is assumed to run for a second term in office. He has yet to announce his candidacy, however.

Fawzi had reportedly been closely watching the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation when they were undergoing last year.

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement in October to end a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with President Mahmoud Abbas calling it a "final" accord.

Abbas welcomed the deal and said he considered it a "final agreement to end the division." However many details remain to be resolved and previous reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed.

It was signed in Cairo by then newly appointed Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation for the talks.

In 2015 Kamel was caught up in a scandal after recordings of him allegedly admitting that the UAE bankrolled the coup against former Muslim Brotherhood backed president Mohammed Morsi were released.