LADERA HEIGHTS : Armenia's President Will Visit Church

The first democratically elected president of the republic of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrossian, will visit St. James Armenian Apostolic Church at 12:30 p.m. today.

The visit is part of Ter-Petrossian's tour of the United States, a goodwill campaign intended to foster political and economic ties between the two countries, said tour spokeswoman Diana Aceves.

The Armenian president will also meet with Gov. Pete Wilson, Mayor Richard Riordan, members of the city's business community and members of the Armenian American community.

About 300,000 people of Armenian descent live in Los Angeles, and St. James attracts members from Palos Verdes, Marina del Rey, Westchester and other nearby areas.

At the church, 4950 W. Slauson Ave., Ter-Petrossian, his wife and parishioners will participate in the "blessing of the grapes," a religious ceremony that symbolizes the assumption of the Holy Mother of God on St. Mary's Day.

The appearance is the first of several the couple have planned during their three-day Los Angeles stay.

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