Pope thanks public for joining his Syria vigil

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has denounced arms proliferation and illegal weapons trade, saying the desire to make profits from arms possibly fuels wars in the world.

Francis told people in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday that he wonders “if this war here or there is really a war, or is it a commercial war to sell these arms or to increase the illegal trade in it?” He urged people to reject arms proliferation and their illegal sale.

He thanked those who joined him Saturday night in the square for meditation and prayers for peace in Syria. The Vatican fears any U.S. military intervention there over chemical weapons use in the civil war could trigger a wider conflict.

The pope also prayed that Muslims and Christians in tense Egypt can work together.

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