The Swiss Foreign Ministry says Carles Puigdemont, the fugitive ex-president of the restive Spanish region of Catalonia, is heading to Switzerland for a private visit.

The ministry said Wednesday that Puigdemont is due in Geneva after accepting an invitation from the International Film Festival and the Forum on Human Rights.

He is expected to participate in a debate on Sunday on "self-determination."

The ministry reiterated that the question of Catalan independence is "an internal matter for Spain" and that Puigdemont was free to travel to Switzerland under Schengen-zone rules, which permits visa-free travel for many Europeans.

Puigdemont is wanted for questioning by Spanish authorities over his role in the region's independence drive last year.

The sister of Spanish king Felipe VI, Princess Christina, has a home in Geneva.