Senator Richard Lugar praised President Barack Obamas Cairo address to the Muslim world as a signal achievement and dismissed Republican criticism that the speech was too apologetic. The speech was important and necessary, said Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noting a lack of sympathy for our country in many Muslim nations. We probably as Americans need to give a lot of speeches in the Arab world, the Indiana senator said in an interview on Bloomberg Televisions Political Capital with Al Hunt, airing this weekend. Obamas language on Iran was tough enough and was meant to reassure Arab countries, which also are concerned about Irans quest to acquire nuclear weapons, Lugar said. Still, Lugar said he doubted that Obamas speech would have much influence on the Middle East peace process or hasten the creation of a Palestinian state. It doesnt really change materially things on the ground, Lugar said. Neither the Israeli nor Palestinian governments are really in the mood to make a compromise, he said. On a domestic issue, Lugar said federal appellate judge Sonia Sotomayor has excellent qualifications to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. He recalled his own support for her when she was elevated from a district court to an appellate court by then-President Bill Clinton in 1998. The 59 Democratic senators are all expected to support her. And if the seven senators who voted for her 11 years ago dont change their vote, she will be confirmed fairly easily, Lugar said.