United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday snubbed President Robert Mugabe as he treated other African leaders to a working lunch on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Trump was joined by South African President Jacob Zuma and leaders of Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Senegal and Uganda.

It was not clear whether Trump, who was on Thursday attacked by Mugabe during his speech to the General Assembly, had overlooked the Zimbabwean leader as a result of the long-standing frosty relations between Washington and Harare or it was for other reasons.

The US slapped Mugabe and members of his inner circle with sanctions over human rights violations and lack of rule of law.

On Thursday, Mugabe took a dig at Trump for his speech on North Korea and Iran, which he said was threatening peace.

In a speech that lasted about 20 minutes, Mugabe called on Trump to blow his “trumpet in a musical way,” towards peace.

That was a bit surprising as Mugabe, ahead of his 93rd birthday, had suggested in an interview with ZTV that Trump might re-examine long-standing US sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“When it comes to Donald Trump, on the one hand, talking of American nationalism, well, America for America, America for Americans — on that we agree,” Mugabe said adding: “Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans.”

Mugabe’s welcoming tonne during Trump’s inauguration did not change Washington’s stance towards Harare.

The US national security adviser, Herbert McMaster, this year told a press briefing that the “exclusive group of dictators”, which includes Mugabe, had gained notoriety for rampant human rights abuses.

McMaster was reacting to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s decision to force through a controversial poll that seeks to create a body to review the South American country’s constitution.

“Maduro is not just a bad leader. He is now a dictator,” McMaster said. daily news