UPDATE 1-Sarkozy tells Obama he recognizes U.S. dollar's role

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WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday told President Barack Obama he recognized how important the role of the U.S. dollar was and pledged to work with him on ideas to help the global economy.

Sarkozy, whose country is head of the Group of 20 global economic steering committee, said he would be working with the United States on new ideas for the world economic system and talked about the need to reduce global imbalances.

During a visit between the two leaders at the White House, Obama also expressed concern about global economic imbalances, saying they were inhibiting growth. (Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Eric Beech)