(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush doesn't want to be on the same program with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and cancelled an appearance to make sure that happened.
Bush accepted an invite to deliver the keynote at the Young President's Organization's annual Global Youth Leadership Summit Saturday in Denver, but cancelled the appearance after learning that Julian Assange was also invited to address the summit.
In a statement, Bush's spokesman, David Sherzer, said "Six months ago, President Bush accepted an invitation to speak to the YPO Global Leadership Summit in Denver on February 26, 2011. This week, upon learning that Julian Assange had recently been invited to address the same summit, President Bush decided to cancel his appearance."
Asserting the president's reluctance to be in the same sphere as Assange, Sherzer continued "The former president has no desire to share a forum with a man who has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States."
YPO would not confirm whether Julian Assange will address the Global Youth Leadership Summit, but did release its own statement Friday.
"We regret that our members will not be able to hear from President Bush," said International Chairman Jill Belconis. "President Bush has spoken to our members several times in the past and we hope to have him participate in another YPO event in the future."
The Global Youth Leadership Summit attracts CEOs from around the world during a two-day dialogue on "leadership in the global community" that includes business leaders who are members of YPO. Membership requires that an individual be under 45 years old and the "chief operator" of a corporation, such as president, CEO, or chairman. The business must also have at least 50 full-time employees, and meet minimum requirements based on revenue, billing, or value of the company.