Syrian peace talks: A lot of posturing -- some signs of hope
On a cold and clear Tuesday, you can feel the competing ambitions battling on Astana's snow-packed Konaev Street, CNN reports.
It's the final day of the Syrian peace negotiations, and the latest moves toward ending the bloody, six-year civil war -- or at least consolidating a fragile ceasefire -- are being announced.On one side of the city's main thoroughfare, the Rixos President Hotel bustles with shabby journalists, dapper diplomats and wealthy patrons in mink coats.
Across the street stands the Kazmedia center, a large, glass open space intended to showcase the city's open approach to the world. A block white sculpture reads #kazmedia. Large screens show glossy advertisements for the country's attractions.
A few blocks down you'll find the Baiterek Tower, a building 100 meters high that resembles a giant lollipop. It's a taste of Astana's eccentric modern architecture.
And here you'll also get a sense the dreams of the leaders of the Kazakh government, who want the world to see their capital as the Geneva of the East, a place where peace is made.