Jordan's chief intelligence official was replaced on Monday after he asked King Abdullah II for a resignation, Jordanian news reports said on Tuesday, citing a royal decree. Maj.-Gen. Muhammad Dahabi, who served as head of Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate since the end of 2005, held clandestine talks with Damascus-based Hamas politburo member Muhammad Nazzal in Amman, according to a report by the French news agency, AFP. Dahabi's meeting in August with Nazzal was the first high-level meeting since Jordan expelled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and three other members in a 1999 crackdown on the Islamist group. It was unclear why Dahabi resigned on Monday and whether it had anything to do with these talks, which were likely conducted with King Abdullah II's consent. In a letter to his staff, Abdullah offered his best wishes to Dahabi and said that he had "worked very hard, with honesty and sincerity." He said Dahabi was among "the loyal soldiers of the homeland" and "devoted to stability and security of the homeland," according to the official Petra news service. Dahabi was replaced on Monday by Maj.-Gen. Muhammad Ratha'n Raqqad, who previously served as director of intelligence for the governates and as an assistant to the director of intelligence for Irbid, the second-largest city in the kingdom, according to the London-based A-Sharq Alawsat. Raqqad played a primary role in arresting members of terrorist cells in the kingdom, including helping arrest three operatives who had plans to blow up a building belonging to the security services and the American embassy in Amman, the newspaper said. Dahabi's team took office in November 2005, days after al-Qaida carried out its deadly blasts in three Amman hotels. His two predecessors hadn't lasted more than a year in the same post, which is considered one of the most important in the country.