Pope Benedict XVI on Monday restored an office that specializes in relations with Muslims, a year after he was criticized for disbanding it, and named a former Vatican foreign minister to head it.
The appointment of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's foreign affairs chief from 1990 to 2003 as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, raised the office's profile.
Tauran was one of the strongest Vatican opponents of US plans to invade Iraq, saying a unilateral military strike would be a "crime against peace" with no justification on grounds of self-defense.
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