French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the Brussels district of Molenbeek, home of Islamic State jihadists who carried out the 2015 Paris attacks, during a state visit to Belgium next week.
The visit comes just weeks after Belgium’s decision to replace its fleet of ageing F-16 jets with US-made F-35s, snubbing European bids including the Rafales from French group Dassault.
It was King Philippe of Belgium who invited Macron to make the two-day visit, on November 19 and 20.
Macron will also meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. Both men are seen as the new generation of European leadership keen on shaking up the European Union.
Most French people remember Molenbeek as the largely immigrant district where several of the jihadists behind the November 13, 2015 attacks on Paris were based.
It was in Molenbeek that top Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was arrested in spectacular fashion in March 2016, near his family home.