Kazakhstan has renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. The announcement regarding this was made by the new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and was approved by the parliament of Kazakhstan.
- Nursultan Nazarbayev served nearly 30 years as leader of the oil-rich nation.
- The decision of the Nursultan Nazarbayev to step down came as a surprise when he made an announcement regarding this through a television address.
- He was the first president of Kazakhstan and lead Kazakhstan since it emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
- It was Nursultan Nazarbayev who moved the capital of Kazakhstan’s capital from the southern city of Almaty near the Kyrgyz border, to northern Astana, which translates to “the capital” in Kazakh and Astana boomed from a minor provincial steppe town into a futuristic city.
- Although proposals were made earlier to rename the city as Nursultan earlier, Nursultan Nazarbayev had himself rejected such proposals.