The decision to rename Astana, a city replete with futuristic architecture in the middle of the world's largest steppe, after the only leader an independent Kazakhstan has ever known, was floated by the country's new interim President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev shortly after Nazarbayev's resignation. President Donald Trump has praised Nazarbayev's leadership skills and said the country's transformation under his rule was a "miracle," according to the Kazakh government's kazakhstan capital city new name of a phone call between the two leaders. The Kazakh leader visited the White House last year, and the two countries agreed to expand their economic ties. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took office in a pomp-filled ceremony less than 24 hours after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the only leader an independent Kazakhstan had ever known, suddenly announced he was stepping down. Tokayev immediately proposed changing the name of the Central Asian nation's capital from Astana to Nursultan, or "Sultan of Light" in Kazakh, and parliament approved the change within hours. The senate also appointed Nazarbayev's eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva as speaker, setting her up as a potential contender to succeed her father.
The Bayterek Tower in Astana. In a statement from the president's official website, Kazakhstan's new president Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev ratified the proposal to change the name of the country's capital from Astana to 'Nursultan'. Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev was sworn in as Kazakhstan's president on Wednesday a day after Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned from the post.