People walk in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, which is hosting Syria peace talks, is a relatively new name on the map.That changed in 1994 when Kazakhstan's first president decided to move the capital from the commercial center Almaty, and Akmolinsk was renamed Astana.Primarily developed in postwar years with typical provincial two-story buildings, Astana received a radical makeover in the 1990s to be dominated by skyscrapers and modern steel-and-glass buildings which house government agencies and major companies.Locals joke about how fast Astana was developed.
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