Sven Alkalaj

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Sven Alkalaj
Sven Alkalaj.jpg
Born (1948-11-11) 11 November 1948 (age 65)
Sarajevo SFR Yugoslavia, (now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Nationality Bosnian, Croat
Alma mater University of Sarajevo
Occupation Politician

Sven Alkalaj (born November 11, 1948) is a Bosnian diplomat who was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and left his position upon expiry of his contract on 8 April 2014. He moreover is former foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alkalaj, who is Bosnian with Sephardic origin, is one of the most prominent Bosnian Jews. He is a member of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina led by Haris Silajdžić.


Alkalaj was born on 11 November 1948 in Sarajevo to a Sephardi Jewish father and Croatian Catholic mother.[1][2] He was raised Jewish.[3][4] His paternal family emigrated from Spain and settled in Sarajevo hundreds of years ago when they fled the Spanish inquisition.[4] Alkalaj graduated mechanical engineering at the University of Sarajevo in 1974. He returned to the university in 1987 and earned a degree in economics.


  • 1993 – 2000: Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United States
  • 1985 – 1988: Regional Manager for Middle and Far East Energoinvest in Sarajevo.
  • 1975 – 1985: Commercial Manager of Petrolinvest in Sarajevo.


Alkalaj has been exposed to harsh criticism and requests for his resignation after it was published that he has received the Croatian citizenship in 2006 through his mother's lineage, Bosnian media reported.[1][5] On April 2, 2010, during a visit to Dublin for a meeting with the Irish foreign affairs minister Micheál Martin, Alkalaj declared to the press that Serbia should hand over Ratko Mladić to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.[6]


  1. ^ a b (Croatian) Zrinjski, Marijana (2007-11-05). "Ministar VP neće glasati na izborima u Hrvatskoj". Nacional. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  2. ^ (Croatian) Rose, Jasmina (2009-06-30). "Bosni je potrebna EU i Amerika". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  3. ^ Perelman, Marc (2007-10-10). "Divided Bosnia Puts Forward a Jewish Face". The Forward. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ a b Franklin, Stephen (1995-04-08). "Jews, Muslims Come Together For Bosnia". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  5. ^ (Croatian) Jelić, Nikola (2007-08-24). "Ministar vanjskih poslova BiH ima hrvatsko državljanstvo". Jutarnji list. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  6. ^ Bosnia calls for Serbia to hand over Ratko Mladić. Irish Times, April 4, 2010

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