Emmanuel Macron began his first visit to Corsica as President of France by honouring the memory of murdered French governor Claude Erignac.
The French official was assassinated by Corsican separatists on the island twenty years ago.
Macron met Erignac's widow to dedicate a square to his memory.
He creditied Corsicans for their role in the years since the event.
The high-stakes visit coincides with demands for greater autonomy for the Mediterranean island.
The independence movement has gained momentum since joining mainstream politics and holds a majority in the assembly after elections in December.
Nationalists in Corsica are in an unprecedented position of political strength.
On Saturday thousands marched to push their case for a break from France.