VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has blamed Europe and the United States for selling weapons in war zones, fueling conflicts and causing victims in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

Speaking to students and teachers of Milan’s San Carlo Institute on Saturday, the pope said that the reason why there are so many wars around the world is that “the rich Europe and America sell weapons … used to kill children and kill people.”

Francis also added that, without weapons, countries like Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan wouldn’t be at war.

The pontiff said that “a country that produces and sells weapons has on its conscience the death of every child and the destruction of each family. It’s us that make a difference.”