The full-back was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2011 and, despite making a recovery, had to undergo a transplant in April of last year before returning to action for Barcelona in April. He completed a move from Barça to Monaco this summer and will now be hoping to earn his 62nd France cap against Belgium.
Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia - who recently featured in France's FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 triumph - has also been selected in Didier Deschamps' 23-man squad and is in line for a senior debut while Samir Nasri could make his first appearance since UEFA EURO 2012.
Speaking at a press conference, Deschamps said of Abidal: "After discussing it at length with him, I decided to call him back. You know his history, his arrival in Monaco, his performances during the warm-up matches.
"There are also injuries with (Raphael) Varane out with his meniscus and (Mamadou) Sakho is struggling at the moment. Abidal, more importantly, is competitive and has a deep and strong desire to represent his country."
Goalkeepers: Lloris (Tottenham), Mandanda (Marseille), Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Debuchy (Newcastle), Abidal (Monaco), Mangala (Porto), Rami (Valencia), Clichy (Manchester City), Evra (Manchester United), Sagna (Arsenal), Koscielny (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Guilavogui (St Etienne), Kondogbia (Sevilla), Mavuba (Lille), Capoue (Toulouse), Sissoko (Toulouse), Grenier (Lyon), Ribery (Bayern Munich), Valbuena (Marseille) Nasri (Manchester City)
Forwards: Payet (Marseille) , Benzema (Real Madrid), Giroud (Arsenal).