Beijing, May 13, Interfax - Genuine friendship is vital to the further development of relations between Russia and China, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"If the slogan "friends forever, enemies never" becomes a part of culture in Russia and China, we will be able to achieve our goals," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church told journalists after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Friendship is a force that can "actually unite people because genuine friendship is always accompanied by security and an excellent framework for the development of cooperation," he said.
The Russian Orthodox Church "sees making a real contribution to the strengthening of true friendship between the people as its duty," he said.
The Chinese authorities seek to build a harmonious society in the country, where representatives of different faiths would make their own important contribution to this process, he said.
Patriarch Kirill said he was hopeful that the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and China's State Administration for Religious Affairs would help gradually sort out current issues "with full respect toward the constitution and laws of China."
The Russian patriarch also met with head of the China State Administration for Religious Affairs Wang Zuoan.
"Sometimes, forces working against the state use the factor of religious diversity to create internal problems. That is why achieving harmony in these relations is a major state task, and its fulfillment should lead, on one hand, to religious freedom and, on the other hand, to continuous harmony in relations between representatives of different faiths," Patriarch Kirill said.